The list of things which can go wrong in a young person's life is a long and ugly one. From a troubled home life featuring violence or emotional abuse, to bullying, health problems or being the caregiver for family members; young people are often carrying more than just the burden of growing up.
The reluctance of foreign leaders to compromise their energy interests by speaking out on the crackdown in Azerbaijan provides the armour Baku needs to protect itself from criticism over how it treats its citizens.
It is one of the great scandals of our time that in 2014 small-scale miners of such a precious metal should work in appalling, dangerous conditions for less than $1 a day. Because that is the sad truth hidden away deep underground.
The coldblooded murder of innocent civilians - no matter the nationality or circumstances - is always utterly appalling.
I find myself surprisingly calm. In part, it is because I continue to have a residual faith in the system, and I cannot believe, after 28 years, that Kris will not get justice today. He simply did not kill Derrick and Duane Moo Young, father and son, in Room 1215 of the Dupont Plaza Hotel back on October 16, 1986.
It is one thing for some of the world's leaders to march for freedom of expression. Well done that they did so, even if some of them were being more than a little hypocritical. But freedom of expression should be used to help build a more just and fair world. Let millions march for that too.
As the light dawns on a new year, so the great general election battle commences. Party leaders are out on the road, sparring over health, education and the deficit to lure undecided votes across the four corners of the UK.
It can no longer be ignored now that Syria's future generations are paying heavily for a catastrophe they did not create, one that is placing an obstacle to their present and future. These children are crying for help and it remains uncertain whether anyone is listening.
Political anoraks are going to love 2015, the most unpredictable election campaign in a generation. It's been at least 23 years since we last had a General Election campaign as difficult to predict as this one.
Responsible for fomenting chaos and carnage beyond their own borders, while at home brutalising their own people, surely it is time for the international community to turn its attention to the Saudis and their utter and complete disregard for anything resembling human rights...
The attacks in France last week were not just about the deaths of 17 civilians, it was also a direct assault on free speech. So yes, it makes sense that significant attention is paid here. But isn't there room for in-depth reporting on more than one important global news story?
"I haven't seen my daughter since IS took her. I cried and shouted at them - what could they want with a three year old? She's just a child." The desperate mother told me her story as we sat on a cold, damp floor in Iraq in November. At Open Doors we estimate that there are over 100million Christians persecuted for their faith. And each one has a story. Our 2015 World Watch List report, released today, reveals a devastating picture of what is happening to Christians around the globe.
After decades of blaming anyone else for the ecological disaster in the Niger Delta, Shell has been forced to point the finger at itself. Why else would the company make an out-of-court settlement of £55million and admit to telling lies during the course of the legal process?
For every one doctor and three nurses working at an Ebola treatment unit there are approximately 26 water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) staff... The next time you read an interview with an international doctor or nurse newly returned from their deployment and recounting desperately sad, and now too familiar, stories about the struggle and the suffering please give some thought to the many WASH staff who remain.
Whilst there is a cost to my support needs; they're a societal investment against further deterioration in my physical and mental health, and are empowering for me to get back out there and contribute to society again.
How do we shut down Keystone? How do we stop fracking? How do we stop deep-water drilling in the Arctic, the Caribbean and everywhere else? How do we end the ecological disaster of the Canadian Tar Sands? How do we stop the power of Big Oil? The answer is that we can't. We don't have the money, the political power or the military might.