How Should the World Protect Syria’s Children?

Wednesday 27 November 2013, 5.30pm | VIDEO NOW ONLINE

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Syria’s brutal civil war has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters ever. Syria’s children have been paying the ultimate price. Thousands have lost their lives already, and millions more have been forced to leave their homes.

Diplomatic efforts have yielded some results. After the images of suffering caused by the chemical weapons attack made headlines and caused moral outrage around the world, Syria leapt to the top of domestic political agendas. As a result of international pressure, Assad handed over his chemical weapons.

But Syria’s children continue to lose their lives on a massive scale. Overwhelmingly it is conventional arms that are causing these deaths. And we are back to the situation that prevailed before the chemical attack: world leaders are unable to unite to decide what to do next. Why does the continued loss of young life on such a scale not trigger the same level of moral repugnance as did the chemical weapons attack?

Where does the world go from here? The horror will not stop unless concerted action is taken, but what options, if any, are left? How can we prevent an entire generation from being lost to the violence?

On 27th November, Intelligence Squared and Save the Children brought together a panel of experts on the conflict, voices from the region, the former Russian Prime Minister and more world renowned speakers, for a special debate on how best to protect Syria’s children.


Disclaimer: Please note that while Save the Children is hosting this debate in partnership with Intelligence Squared, each panelist will be invited to speak at the event in a personal capacity and comments made during the debate will not reflect the views of Save the Children, unless explicitly stated.


Justin ForsythPaul Conroy

World-renowned photojournalist and war-photographer. In 2012 Conroy suffered severe injuries in the Syrian city of Homs during an attack that killed two other reporters including celebrated Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin

Justin ForsythJustin Forsyth

Chief Executive of Save the Children


Dr Rola HallamDr Rola Hallam

British-Syrian doctor and war-zone medic. She was recently involved in the BBC’s Panorama documentary, ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ where she was an eyewitness to the aftermath of a fatal bomb attack on a school in Aleppo


Mikhail KasyanovMikhail Kasyanov

Former Russian Prime Minister (2000-2004). He is a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin and co-leader of the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party


Lord Mark Malloch BrownLord Mark Malloch-Brown

Former UK government minister (2007 – 2009) and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General (2006)




Jon SopelJon Sopel

Veteran BBC News presenter and correspondent



All speakers are subject to change.