David Bull
David Bull joined the United Nations Children’s Fund as Executive Director of the UK Committee in September 1999. Since then UNICEF UK’s voluntary income has more than trebled and the charity has positioned itself as an advocate for the world’s children through a series of campaigns focusing on maternal health, poverty, conflict, exploitation and HIV/AIDS. Recent initiatives include the children’s parallel G8 summit, the Rights Respecting School Award programme and advocacy for Child Wellbeing in the UK.

Since joining UNICEF UK, Mr Bull has visited UNICEF development and emergency programmes in many countries, including Sudan (Darfur), Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Iran, Sri Lanka (Tsunami emergency), Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Bosnia, Kosovo, Laos, Cambodia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Jordan, Egypt, the Philippines and Somalia.

Mr Bull was previously Director of Amnesty International’s UK Section (1990-1999). From 1987-1990 he was General Secretary of the World University Service (UK) and prior to that he was Executive Director of the Environment Liaison Centre in Kenya (1984-87) and Public Affairs Officer at Oxfam (1979-1984). He was a founder of the Pesticides Action Network (PAN) and he is the author of ‘A Growing Problem: Pesticides and Third World Poor’ (1982) and ‘Kampuchea: the Poverty of Diplomacy’. He has been a Trustee of PAN UK and of the Refugee Council, and is an observer member of the FTSE4Good Policy Committee. He has a degree in Economics from the University of Sussex and an MSc in Development Studies and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Bath.

Entries by David Bull

Keeping More Children Safe in a New Generation of Crises

(1) Comments | Posted 29 January 2015 | (14:39)

A boy displaced by fighting in South Sudan stands near makeshift shelters

Unicef launches its largest ever appeal

As the world faces a growing number of increasingly complex emergencies, over 60million children are in danger from natural disasters and conflicts. From the...

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Child Rights Anniversary Places Spotlight on Ebola

(0) Comments | Posted 19 November 2014 | (16:49)

Twenty-five years ago, the world made a commitment to all its children: that we would do everything in our power to promote and protect their rights.

On 20 November 1989, governments across the globe adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Convention stated that...

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Children Fall Prey to the Dangers of Austerity

(1) Comments | Posted 29 October 2014 | (17:48)

Six years on from the start of the global financial and economic crisis, the world still finds itself tightly tethered to austerity. But how are the poorest children faring in the UK, Europe and other well-off countries? What is the impact of austerity on the Children of the Recession?


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Time to Put the Spotlight on South Sudan

(0) Comments | Posted 30 May 2014 | (01:00)

Picture copyright UNICEF/Kate Holt

South Sudan's children are suffering - and the crisis is set to get worse - much worse - in the coming months if more action is not taken urgently. The world's newest nation is on the...

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Changing the World With Data

(0) Comments | Posted 30 January 2014 | (14:38)


Data has always had something of a dry reputation - not often considered one of the livelier conversation topics around the dinner table.

However, for UNICEF, data is more than just numbers. Data shows us the reality of life for...

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We Must Not Forget the Children of the Philippines

(0) Comments | Posted 25 December 2013 | (00:00)

As Unicef UK Executive Director I have seen the physical destruction and the human consequences of many natural and man-made disasters all over the world - earthquakes, tsunamis, famine and war. Every one is different and you can never become accustomed to the suffering, especially of children. But the strongest...

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The Education Emergency Facing Syria's Children

(8) Comments | Posted 3 October 2013 | (01:00)

Thirteen-year-old Zahra has fled bombing, killings and chaos in Syria - but she says the worst thing has been losing her education. Like almost one in five schools in Syria, her school in Aleppo was destroyed, forcing her out of class for more than six months. As the situation deteriorated,...

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The Opportunity to End Child Hunger and Malnutrition Is Now

(8) Comments | Posted 1 June 2013 | (01:00)

In Zambia, mother Mirriam Chongo prepares a meal for her one-year-old son, Peter, outside their home in Mwamfule village. She was making nsima - cornmeal cooked into a thick paste. Unable to get the vital nutrients a child needs, Peter is chronically malnourished and his growth has been stunted as...

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Climate Change Casts a Long Shadow Over British Childhoods

(9) Comments | Posted 19 April 2013 | (01:00)

"We cannot continue sleep walking towards the edge of history's cliff" former US vice-president Al Gore told a packed hall at the Dublin conference on hunger, nutrition and climate justice on Tuesday. "Even with glaring evidence people still do not connect the dots of climate change. We have to win...

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No More Broken Hearts in Syria

(6) Comments | Posted 15 March 2013 | (12:04)

On Wednesday, Mariam a young refugee from Syria told reporters how happy she was that the Prince of Wales had visited her camp in Jordan. "Something will happen because now someone is taking notice" she said.

Yet as the crisis in Syria enters its 3rd year it is abundantly clear...

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IF: The Word of Hope for Children at Davos

(0) Comments | Posted 25 January 2013 | (11:32)

There was more than just the issue of the UK's future in Europe on the lips of leaders and influencers at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. Two other words took an unanticipated, but deserved, prominence: climate change. And for once it wasn't just NGOs and activists stating...

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The Fight to End Child Marriage Begins as the World Celebrates the First 'International Day of the Girl Child'

(6) Comments | Posted 11 October 2012 | (01:00)

On a recent trip to Liberia in West Africa I was shocked to learn that more than 30% of girls aged 15-19 are either married or pregnant, half of these married before their 15th birthday.

I visited a UNICEF-supported project in Monrovia's West Point slum where we were working...

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The London 2012 Paralympics Are Historic for a Reason You May Not Know About...

(2) Comments | Posted 10 September 2012 | (01:00)

There are many reasons why an athlete may find themselves competing in the Paralympics. They may have been born with a disability; injured in an accident or in conflict, or permanently paralysed by a life threatening disease.

For at least 20 of the athletes who competed in the Games...

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The Children of South Sudan

(2) Comments | Posted 18 July 2012 | (12:17)

First birthdays are meant to be about celebrating; the first milestone in a young life has been reached. But when South Sudan turned one this month the celebrations occurred against a backdrop of continuing strife and suffering for the children of the world's newest nation.

A year ago the...

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What the Future Holds for the Children of Liberia

(2) Comments | Posted 18 June 2012 | (01:00)

Liberia features rarely in the world's media these days. The recent 'blood diamond' trial of its former President Charles Taylor offered a brief glimpse into the country's dark history. Perhaps the court's verdict will mark a new phase of recovery for this troubled country.

For so long surrounded by conflict,...

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Soccer Aid: Together as a Team We Can Save Children's Lives

(4) Comments | Posted 18 May 2012 | (01:00)

Even for the non football fans amongst us, it would have been hard to not get caught up in the drama that unfolded on our screens over the weekend as Manchester City clinched the Premiership title from their neighbours by the narrowest of margins.

So dramatic were...

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How Can Aid be Working When Millions Still Starve?

(11) Comments | Posted 18 April 2012 | (01:00)

With a hunger crisis sweeping across the Sahel affecting eight African countries and putting the fragile existences of a million children in jeopardy now may seem a strange time to be talking about the remarkable progress for the world's poorest children that has been achieved over the past 20 years.

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Polio: As India Stands on the Brink

(5) Comments | Posted 6 March 2012 | (00:00)

People say you either love India or find its challenges too great. I have been there many times since my first visit more than 30 years ago, and I have grown to love it.

Yet, modern India remains a country of contradictions. It is a place where unimaginable wealth...

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African Food Crisis: Our Ability to Save Children's Lives Depends on the Spotlight of the Media

(7) Comments | Posted 21 January 2012 | (00:00)

Last summer I made a plea on The Today programme for the UK media to take notice of 'famine over foam' (the media were giving blanket coverage to the Murdochs and the hacking scandal) and help us draw attention to the simple fact that children were dying in huge swathes...

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