Save the Children Applauds President Obama for Taking Proactive Steps to Protect Children

Makes Urgent Call for National Commission on Children

Statement by Carolyn S. Miles, President & CEO

Media Contact: Wendy Christian 203.221.3767 (O) 203.465.8010 (M)

WESTPORT, Conn. (January 16, 2013) — Save the Children applauds President Obama for introducing a package of proposals and executive action today aimed at keeping America’s children safe. Proactive policy initiatives that ensure the safety and well-being of our nation’s children are critical not only to a child’s development, but to the health and stability of our country.

We’ve always said that a comprehensive approach is needed, and that’s what we saw today from the President with efforts focused on not just gun control, but also law enforcement, mental health and school safety. Requiring criminal background checks and a ban on assault weapons are steps we need to take as a country. And we are pleased to see the President also push for a national dialogue on mental health and a commitment to mental health parity regulations. The time is now for these and other measures.

Child protection has been a top priority for Save the Children throughout our nearly 100-year history. Our programs in the United States and across the globe focus on the needs of the most vulnerable children, while aiming to keep all children free from abuse, neglect ,exploitation and violence.

That’s why Save the Children is partnering today with Children’s Heath Fund, Every Child Matters, First Focus, Harlem Children’s Zone and Share Our Strength to urge the Obama Administration to take this dialogue one step further by establishing a National Commission on Children. This new Commission should be tasked with creating a national policy on children, setting goals for protecting children’s wellbeing, including reducing poverty and violence as well as monitoring progress against those goals.

When tragedy struck in our backyard of Newtown, CT on December 14, we all felt heartbroken as 26 lives were lost, 20 of them bright, young children. We sprinted into action, deploying staff to provide emotional support to the children of Newtown and the greater community.

Now, the entire country must come together to find bold, new ideas to ensure all of America’s children are safe and protected. We can do more, and we must do more. We’re asking everyone to join our urgent call for a National Commission by signing this petition today.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in more than 120 countries, including the United States. We aim to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives by improving their health, education and economic opportunities. In times of acute crisis, we mobilize rapid assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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