ChildFund supports ICAN in calling for a ban on nuclear weapons

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ChildFund Australia is one of 90 organisations calling for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as part of the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

The organisations have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, warning of the threat nuclear weapons pose and urging the government to take action.

“This is a child protection issue as well as a human rights issue,” Mr Spence said. “Nuclear weapons have the potential to devastate lives – not only during conflict but for decades after, and harm children and communities indiscriminately.

“It is important that we take every possible step to achieve an effective ban on nuclear weapons to protect children now and in the future.”

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New York on 20 September 2017 and will remain open indefinitely.

It prohibits a range of activities, including undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons. Once 50 nations have ratified or acceded to it, it will enter into force.

The open letter to the Prime Minister is signed by health, union, student, Indigenous, humanitarian, environment and faith organisations from across Australia. It highlights the urgency of disarmament amidst current heightened risks of nuclear conflict.

“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons provides the necessary vehicle for nations to walk away from these unacceptable, and now illegal, weapons,” ICAN founder Tilman Ruff said.

“Australia has signed the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. It’s time to take genuine action against these weapons by signing and ratifying the ban treaty.”

The International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was founded in Australia in 2007 and was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2017.

Click here to read the open letter to the Prime Minister.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 2017: Child-focused international development agencies ChildFund Australia and Educo, members of the ChildFund Alliance, have launched a new collaboration model in Cambodia.

ChildFund Cambodia has taken over the management and implementation of Educo’s programs in Battambang Province and Phnom Penh.

Combining the strengths and expertise of ChildFund and Educo ensures programs are delivered effectively, efficiently, and for the greatest benefit of vulnerable children and families.

Prashant Verma, ChildFund Cambodia Country Director, says: “Both organisations have a strong education focus, while ChildFund is increasingly delivering interventions in the areas of child protection and resilience, youth empowerment as well as our traditional areas of health, livelihoods and water and sanitation.

“Merging our operations means we can capitalise on our many years of expertise in child-focused development initiatives. Our work in Cambodia will also now benefit from improved cost-efficiencies, as we seek to develop new programs to improve the lives of Cambodia’s poorest children and families. This includes the opportunity to seek grant-funded opportunities which are only available to NGOs working in multiple regions of the country.”

Sarah Razafindramanana, Acting Country Representative of Educo in Cambodia, says: “We are committed to implementing programs that will ensure the wellbeing of children in the regions where we work, particularly in the areas of education, child protection and governance, as well as community development interventions that will contribute to realisation of child rights as embodied in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

“Being a member of the ChildFund Alliance, and forging this cooperation with ChildFund Cambodia, means we can leverage future initiatives to improve policy and programme environments in Cambodia for the well-being of children and their families.”

Students, education officials and local government representatives celebrated the partnership with a launch event at ChildFund Cambodia’s new office in Battambang this month.

ChildFund Cambodia also delivers programs to rural communities in Svay Rieng and Kratie.