Voices

More than a million child refugees are struggling to cope

Ten facts about child soldiers that everyone should know

Join the Independent's campaign to help child soldiers in the Central African Republic

Jordi Matas/UNICEF

'I was certain he would be killed'

A young Central African describes how Unicef helped reunite him with his brother, a former child soldier

They have been forced to do things no one should do. And lost part of their lives too

James Nesbitt says 'child' and 'soldier' are two words that should never go together

‘Killing became as easy as drinking water. I will never be able to forget’

Unicef Ambassador and former child soldier Ishmael Beah says although the memories still haunt him, another future is possible for the children of war

Editorial: A gift of hope for Africa's child soldiers

Each year, in the run-up to Christmas, when people have present-buying on their minds, this newspaper asks our readers to set aside some of their festive spirit to help those less fortunate than themselves. This year, we have chosen to focus all your generosity in a single place, and that is a Unicef project to venture into the African bush and negotiate with ruthless killers and rapists for the release of some of the child soldiers they have pressed into combat. The charity then provides shelter for the rescued children, with intensive psychological rehabilitation to help heal the mental scars.

Free, but not safe: The former child soldiers forced to flee rebel surge

The centre for rescued child soldiers was calm when we visited earlier this week. But a terrifying advance by their old masters shows the peril these young people still face

Childhood violated

The Central African Republic is home to a number of rebel groups which use child soldiers – with devastating consequences. By Paul Vallely and Oliver Poole in Bangui

Labour: UN chief Ban Ki-moon must intervene in Gaza

A personal intervention by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is required to help prevent the Gaza Strip crisis developing into full-scale conflict, Labour said today.

Bus crash in Iran kills 26 schoolgirls

A passenger bus in southwestern Iran overturned yesterday evening, killing 26 female high school students on board, Iranian media reported today.

Many breastfeeding mothers give up when they encounter problems instead of persevering

Breastfeeding boom 'could save NHS £40m a year'

'Breast is best' for keeping children healthy, new figures reveal, but mothers are being let down by a lack of medical support

Many breastfeeding mothers give up when they encounter problems instead of persevering

How women feed babies isn't just about statistics

One-sided accounts of the benefits of breastfeeding create unnecessary anxiety in mothers. The idea that breastfeeding isn't adequately promoted is an illusion

The UK has a higher percentage of children in poverty than 21 of 35 economically advanced countries surveyed

Shock report: cuts to have a 'catastrophic' effect on child poverty

Unicef warns UK that more children face life of poverty

Leading article: Child poverty needs more creative thinking

There is an alternative to throwing cash at the problem: affordable childcare

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Susan Sarandon mysteriously cut from White House guest list

Sleep easy, America: a clear and present threat to national security has once more been averted by your intelligence services.

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