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Conflict and Humanitarian

Children face the threat of conflict

Children are living in fear of their lives due to conflicts they have no part in or control over

From Syria to Yemen, boys and girls are being killed and maimed as their hometowns are bombed and placed under violent siege. Schools, hospitals and other places where children should be safe are targeted in horrific attacks. Food and sexual violence are used as weapons of war.

Humanitarian needs of children are expected to reach new records in 2021. The numbers of children living in areas affected by conflict and the numbers of displaced children remain at historic highs.

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to push millions of children into acute food insecurity and other deprivations including reduced access to education and diminishing gender equality. Meanwhile an increasingly unstable climate is driving up risks caused by weather-related disasters.

Even wars must have limits.

We’re pushing for governments around the world to make sure that children caught up in conflict are protected. But war is putting children at risk as never before.

We work relentlessly to defend children against the horrors of war and to uphold their right to be protected. A right that our founder helped establish.

Operating as part of a movement that works in 120 countries, our department designs and implements change-making strategies. We use all our skills to combine lobbying, policy, research, campaigning and media into one agile, powerful engine for change.

Our current focus is on protecting children in conflict from Yemen to Myanmar and Bangladesh, to Syria and the occupied Palestinian Territory.

States and armed actors must uphold standards of conduct in conflict, hold perpetrators of violations to account and take practical action to help children on the ground.

We’re pushing for states to endorse and implement the ‘Safe Schools Declaration’, endorse a political declaration committing to the avoidance of explosive weapons in populated areas that have such terrible impacts on children and champion accountability for grave violations of children’s rights in armed conflict. 

Our Priorities

  1. Pushing for a ceasefire in Yemen and the removal of all impediments to delivering aid to children

  2. Calling on the British Government to endorse the Irish-led Political Declaration on Explosive Weapons

  3. Demanding accountability for crimes committed against Rohingya children in Myanmar

  4. Pushing for States to endorse the ‘Safe Schools Declaration’ and implement its associated guidelines

  5. Calling on the British Government to support the rights of vulnerable children in Syria, and to take steps to bring British children trapped in Syria back to safety in the UK. 

Key reports

Blast Injuries: The impact of explosive weapons on children in conflict 

Stop the War on Children: Protecting Children in 21st Century Conflict

Hunger – A Lethal Weapon of War: The impact of conflict-related hunger on children

Defenceless: The Impact of Israeli Military Detention on Palestinian Children

Advancing Justice for Children: Innovations to strengthen accountability for crimes against children. 

Horrors I will never forget: the stories of Rohingya children 

Read the latest blogs on Conflict

our experts

James Denselow

James Denselow

Head of Conflict and Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy

James has spent more than 15 years working on and in the Middle East, including time living in Syria and Lebanon. He previously worked at Chatham House, MAP and Crisis Action.

He has an MA from Kings College London and a BA from Exeter. He is a contributing author to An Iraq of Its Regions: Cornerstones of a federal democracy and America and Iraq: Policy-making, intervention and regional politics since 1958. He is a Research Associate at the Foreign Policy Centre and a Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies.

Véronique Aubert

Children and Armed Conflict Lead 

Véronique leads on Children and Armed Conflict. She also co-chairs the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack and serves as a member of Child Soldiers International’s Board of Trustees.

Prior to this Véronique was the Deputy Director of the Africa Programme and Researcher on the Democratic Republic of the Congo at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat.

She has a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Daniela Reale

Daniela Reale

Child Protection & Children on the Move Lead

Daniela has over 15 years’ experience working on child protection, child migration and trafficking, supporting both direct programmes globally and leading on policy and advocacy on children on the move and on child exploitation, including child labour and trafficking. She pioneered the Children on the Move framework, successfully advocating for this approach to be adopted in a variety of contexts.

Daniela holds a degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and has long-standing experience in the fields of child protection, exploitation, trafficking and related issues. 

Orlaith Minogue

Orlaith Minogue

Senior Conflict and Humanitarian Advocacy Adviser

Orlaith has more than a decade of experience working on policy, research and advocacy in the field of human rights and humanitarian law.

She holds a Master’s in International Human Rights Law from Queen’s University Belfast and a BCL in Law and French from University College Cork.

Prior to joining Save the Children in 2013, Orlaith worked on human rights issues in Canada, India and Hungary and with Amnesty International at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Keyan Salarkia

Keyan Salarkia

Conflict & Humanitarian Policy & Advocacy Adviser

Keyan has more than 8 years of experience in policy and advocacy roles and has been with Save the Children since 2016. In that time he has worked on multiple crises – including in the Horn of Africa, Bangladesh and Myanmar – as well as on Save the Children’s Stop the War on Children campaign, authoring a number of the organisation’s reports and leading policy development across a range of thematic areas. 

Anya Cowley

Claire Nicoll

Conflict and Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Officer

Claire focuses on the occupied Palestinian territory.

Before taking up her current role, Claire worked as a member of Save the Children’s Humanitarian Communications Team, deploying to support humanitarian operations in a variety of conflict, disaster-relief and slow-onset responses. Claire has field experience working in different conflict settings, including Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and South Sudan.

Prior to Save the Children, Claire worked on development issues in Kenya and Senegal. She has a Masters in 'Modern Languages & Linguistics' from the University of Oxford.