Voices

More than a million child refugees are struggling to cope

Likes don't save lives: Unicef campaign takes on ‘slacktivism’

A new campaign for children's charity UNICEF highlights dissatisfaction within the charity sector for support that stops at engagement on social media.

A mother holding her child and a French soldier stand in front of charred pickup trucks used by Islamist rebels in Diabaly

Police move in to guard safe haven for 66 rescued child soldiers in Central African Republic (CAR)

The Independent's campaign has raised over £225,000. But as the latest news makes clear, the problems facing children in the CAR have not gone away

Editorial: An outstanding Christmas Appeal – thanks to you

There are few children who need help so much as those who have been both physically and psychologically abused. The boys and girls rescued from child soldiery and sex slavery in the Central African Republic have been profoundly affected by their ordeals. Yet our Christmas Appeal to raise funds for Unicef has shown how their lives can be, painstakingly, restored.

'I will always remember the liberated child soldiers I met – and your generosity'

While these children’s stories were so difficult to hear, they were at least taking a turn for the better

‘As a father of young children, your articles struck a chord’

The total raised to date by The Independent’s Christmas Appeal for Unicef’s work rescuing child soldiers is an amazing £173,894

Editorial: Why we have extended our Christmas Appeal

Ordinarily this newspaper's Christmas Appeal would have ended by now. We are extending it for two reasons. The first is that, despite gloomy predictions from some, Independent readers have responded with generosity to our appeal for donations to the work of Unicef in rescuing children from their fate as cannon fodder or sex slaves of armed militias in the Central African Republic. The fact that this is a difficult and complex issue – as illustrated by today's report on how child soldiers are brainwashed – has only prompted you to really engage with their plight.

Sarah Crowe pictured with her son, Dominick, and daughter, Kiera, in 2002

‘I wouldn’t let my children play with toy guns. In the Congo, theirs is a world of Kalashnikovs’

I have witnessed young lives torn apart after being recruited into brutal militias. The Independent’s Charity Appeal will help give former child soldiers their childhood back

In talks with the men who steal children

Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the Independent, sees how Unicef have to negotiate with double-dealing rebel generals to secure the release of child soldiers

US diplomats evacuated from Central African Republic

US diplomats in the Central African Republic are being evacuated to Kenya as fears increase that rebel forces will soon advance on the capital, Bangui.

Protesters in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, demanding the French do more to help stop the rebel advance

Aid workers stay behind to protect rescued child soldiers

Advancing rebels are 45 miles from capital of Central African Republic

Protesters in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, demanding the French do more to help stop the rebel advance

Aid workers stay behind to protect rescued child soldiers

Advancing rebels are 45 miles from capital of Central African Republic

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meet artist Ilya Glazunov

Vladimir Putin to sign bill banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will sign a controversial bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children, as the Kremlin’s children’s rights advocate recommended extending the ban to the rest of the world.

Mixed messages from CAR rebels

Days before joining a rebellion now sweeping the Central African Republic, this rebel commander told Evgeny Lebedev he was working with the government

Rebel advance threatens CAR's fragile peace

As December 25 comes around, the Independent’s Christmas Appeal has already raised tens of thousands for Unicef to help child soldiers in the Central African Republic. However, rebel advances in the north of the country risk creating a new crisis that could sweep up still more children in its wake.

Christmas with the child soldiers

Even as instability continues in the Central African Republic, Unicef are doing everything they can to give former child soldiers a proper Christmas day

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