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Colourful character: Camila Batmanghelidjh on her unique approach to charity work

The inspirational world of Camila Batmanghelidjh. Each Christmas, she looks after hundreds of abused, neglected or abandoned children. But that's all in a day's work for Britain's most colourful charity leader.

E Jane Dickson: We must make it our business to report abuse

Last year in Paris, I witnessed one of those accidents where time seems to slow to a horrible stop-frame scenario. A baby, bumped in its buggy down the steep stairs of the Métro, had came loose from its moorings and pitched head-first on to the tiles below. Miraculously unhurt, the child set up a cheerful crowing while his young mother, hyperventilating with shock, was set about by the (mainly female) crowd and scolded for failing to attach him securely, with a noisy consensus in favour of informing "the authorities". It wasn't an edifying sight and, reading this week's report from the first international conference on denunciation in wartime France (where it was suggested that up to one million French people denounced their compatriots to the Vichy regime), I was reminded of those vengeful, furious faces.

Camila Batmanghelidjh: When a child commits a crime, the truth is we're all responsible

Society is keen to hold children accountable for crime. In the name of justice, force and chemicals are used to achieve compliance: Prisons, Asbos and some 460,000 prescriptions of Ritalin a year, some of it for children who suffer attention disorders, but most of it for those who feel uncontained and legitimately chaotic in the face of unbearable life challenges. Criminal children are costing £280,000,000 in custody. At any given time, 3000 children are in custody. 80 per cent of them reoffend.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & texts, 17 August 2008

I am pleased that Pat Rattigan's daughter survived measles unscathed, but to conclude that the purpose of childhood infections is to protect against themselves is bizarre (Letters, 10 August). The WHO's figures show that, in 2006, measles was responsible worldwide for 242,000 deaths – 663 every day, 27 every hour. Those who survive are at risk of brain damage, deafness or blindness.

Camila Batmanghelidjh: Not in my name: these Batman ethics are repellent

The indifference to human suffering in the caped crusader's latest foray is more shocking than the graphic violence that has excited its early critics. For young people used to images of cruelty, the film's lack of moral context is more dangerous by far

How to tame a teenage tearaway

Want to persuade a stroppy adolescent to talk nicely, do their homework and get up in the mornings? Try calling Sarah Newton, police-officer-turned-life-coach

'I've got kids who sleep with knives under their pillows'

Another teenager dies on Britain's streets. What can we do to stop the killing? One remarkable woman may have the answer

Leading article: Prison won't halt this epidemic of stabbing

Another day, another stabbing. On Saturday, a budding actor, Robert Knox, 18, was knifed to death in Sidcup, Kent. Yesterday, a 19-year-old was in critical condition after being stabbed in East Ham, east London. Earlier this month, Jimmy Mizen, 16, was stabbed to death at Lee, in south-east London. Fatal knife crimes are losing their power to shock. As the gap between each crime closes, we have less time to absorb what happened. Faces blur. Stabbing is becoming a routine occurrence, at least in London and other cities.

Young artists open door on a living hell

The writing is on the wall. Life at home is hell. It's evil. Enter any room at the Behind Closed Doors art exhibition in south London, and enter the mind of a young child and a reflection of the world in which they live.

A safe place for sad children

The Place to Be, a network of therapists based in London schools, offers a lifeline to pupils in distress. Barbara Lantin reports
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