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The RSC Director talks to Christiane Amanpour on CNN

Last night on Amanpour, CNN International's flagship global affairs programme, in an interview spanning issues from child detention in Nauru to refugee economies, Alexander Betts stated that “the global refugee crisis is a crisis of child protection. Around half of the world’s refugees are children or youth, so if people care about children they should care about the refugee issue. We seem to be globally in ethical free fall, we seem to have lost our morals and our moral compass.”  He spoke of the lost generation of Syrian children that, if not addressed, “will be disastrous for the region and for all of us.”

On Holocaust Memorial Day, he stated that “the legacy of the Second World War was a recognition that nobody should face persecution, that everybody has a right to fundamental human rights, and yet collectively we’re in denial.”

He called for much stronger leadership by politicians, and for “cooperation from all politicians to come together and recognize and explain [to their electorates] that this is a fundamental human rights obligation to children, to adults, as human beings, and if we deny that we are denying our own values and our own humanity.”

He also highlighted that “the elephant in the room is the question of Islam”, which few politicians are willing to address, but is an issue that needs to be addressed openly and with our liberal values. Part of the problem here, he says, is the decline of centrist politics - the polarization of politics in Europe and elsewhere - with “few politicians putting forward a clear liberal line that says Islam can and should be compatible with our values as liberal states and societies.”

Watch the programme here >>

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