Conflict and Humanitarian

Children living through deadly 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 home towns are bombed and placed under violent siege. Schools, hospitals and other places where children should be safe are being targeted in horrific attacks.

This must stop. 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.

Some 15 million children are directly caught up in violent conflict. A further 10 million children have fled violent struggles in their countries. A third of the world’s child deaths happen in countries affected by conflict or that have sizeable refugee populations.

We work relentlessly to defend children against the horrors of war and to uphold their right to protection. 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 helping children in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

We must ensure children’s rights are included in the Global Compacts on migration and refugees.

We’re pushing for states to endorse the ‘Safe Schools Declaration’ and are addressing the use and impacts of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Our Priorities

1. To build the case for returning the Saudi-led Coalition to the UN Secretary General’s ‘list of shame’ – in the 2017 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict – for violating child rights in Yemen.

2. To call on the British government and its allies to avoid using explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas and to protect children in conflict in every way possible.

3. To lobby for UN Security Council Members to demand that parties to the conflict in Syria fully comply with existing UN Security Council Resolutions (2139, 2165, 2191, 2258, 2328, 2332 and 2336), and agree a new Security Council Resolution to protect education from attack and military use.

4. To push for governments to endorse the ‘Safe Schools Declaration’.

5. To ensure children on the move are protected and supported and their rights upheld irrespective of their migration status, and in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international legal standards.

Key reports

Invisible Wounds: The impact of six years of war on the mental health of Syria’s children

Nowhere Safe for Yemen’s Children: The deadly impact of explosive weapons in Yemen

Childhood Under Siege: Living and dying in besieged areas of Syria

"Horrors I Will Never Forget” – The Stories of Rohingya Children: The testimonies of Rohingya Children shining a light on the unimaginable things children have experienced and witnessed during recent violence in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. 

Read the latest blogs on Conflict

our experts

George Graham

George Graham

Director of Conflict and Humanitarian Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns

George leads the organisation’s policy work and campaigns on conflict and emergency situations around the world, as well as longer-term work on measures to protect children in war and to uphold the rights of children on the move.

He has some 15 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector, both in the UK and overseas, including in North Africa, the Middle East, India, Nepal, Sudan and Bosnia.

He has a BA in English from Oxford University and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London.

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

Senior Conflict and Humanitarian Policy & Research Adviser 

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.

Caroline Anning

Caroline Anning

Senior Conflict & Humanitarian Policy Adviser

Caroline leads on our work on the conflict in Yemen and supports on the wider Protecting Children in War agenda. She joined Save the Children in 2013 as a media manager, and has travelled extensively to support our emergency responses, including to Iraq, Lebanon, South Sudan, Nepal and to Sierra Leone for the Ebola crisis.

Prior to this, Caroline worked for the BBC as a journalist and spent several years living in Lebanon, studying and working as a freelance reporter and consultant.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Leeds and a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Beirut. 

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. 

Amanda Brydon

Amanda Brydon

Conflict and Humanitarian Advocacy Adviser

Amanda focuses on the Middle East.

Prior to this, she led Amnesty International’s Advocacy and Government Relations team in New Zealand, before moving to Beirut to work as Policy Adviser for the Yemen and Lebanon country teams of Oxfam GB.  

Amanda has experience in international and domestic advocacy on human rights, working on an extensive range of campaigns, including safe and legal routes for asylum-seekers and refugees, security and mass surveillance, violence against women in the Pacific, the campaign for an Arms Trade Treaty, and the protection of civilians in conflict.

Amanda has a conjoint BA / LLB (Hons) from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, majoring in international human rights and refugee law.

Mark Kaye

Mark Kaye

Roving Conflict and Humanitarian Advocacy Adviser

Before taking up his current role, Mark worked as a member of Save the Children’s Humanitarian Surge Team, deploying to support humanitarian operations in a variety of conflict, disaster-relief and slow-onset responses. Mark has extensive field experience of working in conflict settings, including the Central African Republic, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

He has a Masters in Global Political Economy from the University of Sussex and has co-authored the reports Attacks on Education and the Nowhere Safe for Yemen’s Children.

Kat Lorenz

Children on the Move Policy and Advocacy Adviser

Kat focuses on refugee and asylum policy as it affects the UK.

Previously, Kat worked for 13 years for a UK-based refugee charity, managing policy and developing programmes on asylum support, access to services, refugee ‘move on’ advice and voluntary return.

Kat has an MA from Edinburgh University.

Orlaith Minogue

Orlaith Minogue

Conflict and Humanitarian Advocacy Adviser

Prior to joining the Conflict and Humanitarian team, Orlaith worked on child rights governance at Save the Children’s Northern Ireland office. Orlaith has previous experience working on human rights issues in Canada, India, Hungary and with Amnesty International at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Orlaith has an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Queen’s University Belfast and a bachelor degree in Law and French from University College Cork.

Keyan Salarkia

Keyan Salarkia

Conflict & Humanitarian Policy & Advocacy Adviser

Keyan focuses on the Horn of Africa and the East Africa region. 

He has a background in policy and advocacy in the UK NGO sector, and is currently studying for a Masters in Violence, Conflict and Development. Keyan has developed a specialism in natural resources and political economy, while his interests extend well beyond that – including health, education and children and armed conflict.