This Weeks Humanitarian News Briefs

by DENISE KOENIG AND CHRIS HUBER on May 20, 2015


World: Record 38 million people internally displaced


A report issued last week notes a new world record high at the end of 2014: 38 million people internally displaced by conflict and violence — a number equal to the populations of New York, London, and Beijing combined. The report by the Norwegian Refugee Council says Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria had the most newly displaced people. Alarmingly, more than 90 percent of nations monitored had people displaced for a decade or more, signaling a trend of long-term life disruption. And some people face multiple displacements — refugees from Syria who had fled to Iraq were displaced again in Iraqi fighting, as did Palestinian refugees who had fled to Syria and then to Iraq, being uprooted once more.

South Sudan: Ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child

In a positive move, South Sudan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on May 5, which assures the international community and its populace that the nation’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens will be treated with equity and dignity. “Over half of the population of South Sudan is under 18, and many of these children have fallen victim to the ravages of war. In ratifying the CRC, the Government of South Sudan is decisively standing up for all of the children in this country,” said Samar Abboud, spokesperson for World Vision in South Sudan. Reports indicate more than 235,000 children in the nation have severe acute malnutrition, and the conflict has kept more than 400,000 children out of formal education and forced more than 16,000 mostly boys into armed groups.

Central African Republic: Child soldiers to be freed

The eight main militias fighting in the Central African Republic agreed May 5 to free all child soldiers and children used as sex slaves and to end further recruitment of children to their ranks, Reuters reported. The pact will involve between 6,000 and 10,000 children. The deal is the result of ongoing reconciliation efforts among governments and aid groups with the goal of ending the bloody conflict that has killed thousands of people and displaced more than a million people. World Vision has helped more than 150,000 people affected by the conflict with access to clean water, food supplies, and Child-Friendly Spaces. It has also worked with Christian and Muslim leaders to promote peaceful dialogue among faith communities. 

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