WASHINGTON -- January 26 -- Commemorating the one month anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunamis that killed tens of thousands of children in Asia, Save the Children announced today the creation of a new online initiative at www.savethechildren.org/protection that makes it easy for Americans to support efforts to improve and expand protections for young tsunami victims and children in emergencies and conflict zones all around the world.
Save the Children is calling on the public to support its efforts to pass new federal legislation that will make protection of children a top priority in the first phase of every U.S. emergency response.
By sending a free email to their members of Congress, the public can help millions of children who are caught in the crossfire of war or struggling to survive a natural disaster, said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children.
The American public has already shown its concern for the children of Asia through its generosity, said MacCormack. Contacting your member of Congress is another way to take action to help millions of children in crisis.
The Women and Children in Crisis and Conflict Protection Act would support initiatives to prevent, detect and respond to violence and exploitation against children in emergency and armed conflict situations and set aside additional resources to ensure that children are protected during the initial stages of a humanitarian response. The legislation is set to be introduced in the House by Representatives by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY).
For years the United States has provided food, medical care and shelter to civilians impacted by emergencies, said MacCormack. But the United States has not done enough to coordinate efforts to ensure that children are protected and are kept safe in the immediate aftermath of an emergency. New legislation is needed to make child protection a much higher priority, he said.
While the worlds attention is riveted on Asia, there are dozens of forgotten emergencies and armed conflicts around the world that are taking a devastating toll on millions of children, he said.