ASILE Civil Society Group

Save the Children

Description of organisation 

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Save the Children has been closely involved in the negotiations of the Global Refugee Compact through continued advocacy and policy work by our Advocacy offices in Geneva and New York. We have also provided joint inputs through the initiative on child rights in the Global Compacts, which Save the Children is co-leading.

In Jordan, Save the Children is coordinating with UN agencies, governmental bodies, INGOs and local partners in Jordan to better respond to the needs of Syrian children.  Our response aims at improving the quality of education, protection and nutritional status for Syrian children and ensuring that they have access to protective and developmentally appropriate education that is relevant to their present, as well as future circumstances.

In Serbia, Save the Children’s Balkans Migration and Displacement Hub has been established in order to continually provide the needed support for children on the move in the Balkans and to document good practices developed during the emergency response. It is mandated to improve learning and knowledge sharing within Save the Children, ensure children’s needs are prioritized, and liaise with other stakeholders working with children on the move.

Since the influx of people from Zimbabwe, following the political violence in 2008, Save the Children South Africa has been working with local stakeholders in Limpopo at the border with Zimbabwe to build their capacity in dealing with unaccompanied migrant children and ensure that they are adequately supported and protected.

Save the Children has been present in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh since 2012, and dramatically scaled up our work in 2017 as more Rohingya fled violence in Myanmar. With the support of the Bangladesh Government, Save the Children is running nearly 100 centres that support children’s learning and wellbeing in their mother tongue, Rohingya, in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Save the Children opened its Istanbul office in February 2017 and retained presence with projects in Turkey mainly in Istanbul and Hatay.

In Europe, we implement programmes with migrant and refugee children in Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland. We also engage in joint advocacy work through the European Migration Advocacy Group. We also work in Canada.  Our primary target group is children. This means children that are both unaccompanied and travelling with families, at all ages.

Staff Profile

Ms. Karen Mets

Save the Children, Advocacy Adviser

Karen Mets works as a Senior Advocacy Adviser with Save the Children, leading the organisation’s Europe focussed asylum and migration-related work. She has nearly fifteen years of experience working both in politics and for civil society organisations, mainly focussing on migration, human rights and foreign affairs. She started her career working as a political adviser for a State Secretary and a Member of Parliament in Belgium, after which she spent several years working as an Advocacy Manager for Save the Children in the Middle East. After moving back to Brussels, she worked as an adviser for a European political party and then moved back to Save the Children, where she has been leading the work on migration since 2016. She contributed to various reports and studies on children in migration, including the recently launched report ‘from Europe to Afghanistan, experiences of child returnees’ and the advocacy report ‘Keeping Children at the centre, time for EU solidarity in protecting migrant and refugee children’s rights’. She graduated with honours from the University of Gent, where she specialised in EU Justice and Home Affairs, as part of a Master’s degree in Political Science.