World Vision UK calls for immediate ban on tear gas at borders

World Vision UK is calling for an immediate European-wide ban on using tear gas and batons against refugee families fleeing war zones.

As the EU-Turkey migration summit gets under way this morning, the international children’s charity is urging European leaders to prohibit the use of dangerous riot-control weapons at borders.

World Vision UK's CEO Tim Pilkington says: "Children are being caught-up in violent clashes between refugees and government security forces breaking out across Europe. Distressing scenes of children fleeing baton attacks and choking on tear gas shame us all.

"The use of tear gas and other anti-riot weaponry against children is reprehensible. Tear gas is prohibited in war. It damages eyes, lungs and skin and can lead to vomiting, chemical burns, nerve damage and blindness. The psychological impact on distressed children seeking refuge from war can only be imagined.

"Every day World Vision staff look after hundreds of children who have arrived physically and emotionally exhausted at the borders of Eastern Europe. Many have survived perilous boat journeys and endured freezing temperatures for weeks on end.

"Using weapons banned in war against children is an outrage. Riot control is an unacceptable way of regulating the flow of refugee families into Europe. We want to see an urgent halt to such tactics. European leaders need to find a humane solution which does not inflict further violence and damage on extremely vulnerable children."

To help us protect the child and family refugees of Syria, please donate to our Syria Crisis Appeal »

Statement: DRC on its knees as new Ebola outbreak confirmed

Reports of new cases of Ebola in north-western DRC confirm World Vision's greatest fear: that the country is contending with yet another outbreak in a new province – Equatoria.

Statement: Super Cyclone Amphan puts millions at greater risk of coronavirus

Cyclone Amphan is creating crisis on top of a crisis – making it even more difficult to contain COVID-19 at a critical time in the response by both India and Bangladesh, World Vision warns.

Parents turn to violence as coronavirus bites around world

Up to 85 million more children face physical, sexual and emotional violence at home and in their communities over the next three months, as COVID-19 spreads worldwide.

Coronavirus: World Vision launches largest ever humanitarian response

World Vision has dramatically scaled up its emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus continues to spread rapidly around the world.