The first ever World Humanitarian Summit takes place in Istanbul on the 23rd and 24th May 2016.  It was convened by Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, with the aim to rebuild an international partnership for humanitarian action.

Terre des Hommes advocates for, supports and empowers children, youth and their families affected by displacement and crisis no matter their legal status.  Terre des Hommes appeals for a renewal of political commitment for preventing and resolving crises.  Assistance and protection for the people affected by these crises is everyone’s business: politicians, humanitarian workers as well as players in development and economics.

Worrying issues

The number of conflicts and attacks on civilians is constantly growing. Some conflicts last a long time and create untenable situations for the people. Destitution and poverty, climate change and natural disasters also have a direct impact on the most vulnerable sections of the population and systems that are already fragile. Terre des hommes concentrates its efforts on the children who represent 50% of the vulnerable people in humanitarian crises.

Forced displacements

Record numbers of people have been forced to flee their homes and are displaced within and across borders as a result of (often predictable) conflicts, human rights violations as well as destitution and poverty and natural disasters and climate change.

Children pay a disproportionate price to war, unrest and disasters. Children constituted 51% of the refugee population, the highest percentage in more than a decade. [1] All in all, children are often unseen, unheard and unaccounted for.

The life and aspirations of a young refugee

Farah - sea front 1Farah Abdullahi Abdi, a young Somali refugee will be addressing the participants of the Summit.  Kopin and Terre des Hommes have been in close contact with Farah since he was a teenager.  Farah is an incredible advocate for the Destination Unknown Campaign and for the cause of migrants and refugees in general.  His book “Never Arrive” which he will be presenting at the Summit is the story of his life.  He shares dreams and aspirations and the often dangerous, brutal and terrifying events that many children on the move experience.


At the occasion of the Summit, Farah, Terre des Hommes, KOPIN and the Destination Unknown Campaign are releasing two short documentaries produced by Aisha Roberson and Petra Spreij, on Farah’s life.  A 2”48 and a 6”15 documentaries where Farah talks about perspectives of life, wellbeing, social inclusion and xenophobia. Short documentaries bound to stir up plenty of interest and encourage guided actions.

Political engagement of the States

The international community addresses the migrant and refugee tragedies with passiveness and a lack of vision and political will, while it has the capacity to act much more effectively and in a preventive way. For all these reasons Terre des Hommes welcomes the World Humanitarian Summit as an opportunity to rethink the international aid architecture and to unite the efforts of the different humanitarian actors under a common vision and shared frameworks for action.

 “Humanitarian action cannot be a substitute for political inaction. What matters is that the primary responsibility of the States is the implementation of international law and the importance of respect for humanitarian principles” says Steven Fricaud, Head of the Emergency and Humanitarian Crises at Terre des hommes.

Steven Fricaud and other colleagues from Terre des Hommes are attending the World Humanitarian Summit to advocate for a greater political commitment of the States and recall the principle of “leaving no one behind” which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda.

[1] One humanity : shared responsibility – Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit

Read the ‘Terre des Hommes position on forced displacements’

Watch Farah’s interview for the national Maltese television TVM during the WHS

Watch the two short documentaries “Never Arrive”