Browse by Theme: Humanitarian

Three years on from the start of the conflict in South Sudan, I returned to the country to help ensure that CARE’s life-saving work reaches the most vulnerable women and girls. The conflict has caused almost 1 in 4 to flee their homes, and our analysis, published today, shows that women and girls continue to bear the heaviest burden as the conflict worsens.

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Human Rights Day happens 10 December every year to commemorate the day in 1948 that governments of the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations. Human Rights Day also marks the end of the yearly 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women and Girls, which is an important moment in which activists around the world mobilise to raise awareness on women’s rights issues.

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Today and tomorrow (20-21 October 2016), European heads of state meet in Brussels for the European Council. At the top of the agenda is European policy on migration. Having recently returned from Greece where I was supporting CARE’s efforts to help refugees, I’ve seen for myself the desperate situation that so many refugees face. It represents a collective failure of European governments – and the proposals tabled for the European Council risk making the situation worse.

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In the run-up to the Global Summits on Refugees and Migrants at the United Nations in September 2016, CARE launched a petition to campaign for better protection for innocent civilians fleeing conflicts and natural disasters. We had three asks in our petition targeting the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, which secured the support of over 21,000 people. So to what extent did the Refugee and Migrant Summits deliver on our demands?

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We all agree that the numbers are staggering: according to the UNHCR, on average, 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, four times more than a decade earlier. At the last count, Greece alone was home to 57,000 displaced people, 40 per cent of them children. But on what to do and who should do it is where agreement ends and polemics begin.

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Over 40 grassroots women-led civil society organisations, human rights and humanitarian agencies have today launched a new Joint Statement on Women and Girls outlining 10 recommendations for next week’s global refugee and migrant Summits – and beyond. So what do we know about the likely Summit outcomes from a gender perspective?

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What does it mean to be ‘a humanitarian’ working in Greece – a country in Europe that, notwithstanding its economic crisis, does not fit the bill of the classic ‘emergency’ context? How does the response in Greece challenge our assumptions about what it means to be a humanitarian?

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