A 12-year-old Syrian girl, in the Anjar Refugee camp in Lebanon. Save the Children offers programs in the camp to help keep refugee children healthy, educated and safe.

A 12-year-old Syrian girl, in the Anjar Refugee camp in Lebanon. Save the Children offers programs in the camp to help keep refugee children healthy, educated and safe.

Humanitarian Response Policy and Advocacy

Humanitarian crises have devastating physical, psychological and social consequences for children. Children are especially vulnerable following the loss of their homes or families, or finding themselves forced to flee conflict. Today there are more than 65.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world – half of them are children – and the numbers continue to increase. About 75% of these children are missing out on a quality education that could prepare them for a better future.

The U.S. has long been a leader in responding to conflicts, natural disasters and other global emergencies. Today, we play a particularly important role in addressing the impacts of violent conflict, especially in the Middle East, Southern and East Asia and the Horn of Africa. As an international leader in humanitarian response, the U.S. has an important role to play in ensuring the most vulnerable children – girls, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) – are kept safe during and after humanitarian crises.

Save the Children’s humanitarian response policy and advocacy efforts aim to influence governmental, UN and other relevant actors to deliver policies and practices that protect children in emergencies and crisis-affected countries, helping them to survive, learn and be protected. This includes advocating for:

  • Adequate funding to meet humanitarian needs
  • The prioritization of education and child protection in emergencies
  • Humanitarian access and respect for principles of impartiality and independence
  • Preparedness, disaster risk reduction and resilience; and
  • Ensure children’s needs are prioritized among humanitarian agencies
  • Our advocacy efforts draw on evidence and expertise from Save the Children’s extensive humanitarian response programs around the world, aiming to ensure that U.S. and international policy is informed by best practices and designed to reach every last child.

To learn more about the important work we do in Humanitarian Response, click here.

Humanitarian Advocacy Priorities

Country and Regional Crisis Advocacy

Our humanitarian advocacy efforts focus on a subset of global crises where children’s needs are high and where the U.S. government has an important role to play in facilitating humanitarian assistance and helping to resolve conflict. In 2018, our priority crises are:

Our advocacy activities on these crises range from producing policy briefs, to bringing Save the Children country and issue experts from our programs to meet with key U.S. government actors. We push for the inclusion of important humanitarian considerations – particularly those addressing the needs of children – within relevant U.S. policy and legislation.

Refugee Education
As part of Save the Children’s global Every Last Child campaign, our advocacy has focused on ensuring all refugee children have access to quality education within 30 days of displacement from their country of origin. In partnership with a coalition of organizations engaged on refugee rights and protection, we have participated in consultations on the UN Global Compact on Refugees to help ensure that a time-bound return to learning for refugee children is prioritized within the compact.

Protecting Children in Conflict
In 2019, Save the Children launched a new global campaign focused on the protection of children in conflict. Our efforts will involve calling on the U.S. government to play a leadership role in upholding international humanitarian and human rights law, particularly in situations of armed conflict; holding the perpetrators of violence against children to account; and providing conflict-affected children with the crucial health, education and protection services they need.

Learn more about our humanitarian advocacy priorities here.


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