The people that are coming are people who have invested a lot both humanly and financially to get to Europe. You pay thousands of dollars per person just to get on these small rubber boats from Turkey to Greece in hopes of not drowning. You become illegal. You are a crime. You hide in trucks filled with people dead and alive, all fighting for one thing: freedom. The issue becomes even more personal for me when I know that my mother and I have walked the same path as these children have.
Our record on bringing perpetrators to justice is woeful - even though we know FGM goes on all the time either here or in the girls' mother countries - both of which are illegal. A prosecution was brought - but the defendant was acquitted and so we are still awaiting our first successful prosecution...
It is very important for Syrian children to have an education. I don't see them as refugees. It is just a label that the society gave them. We are not looking into a dark future where people are divided into those who were refugees and those who were not. What they are now are children. Simply children. And all children have the right to learn and continue their education.
I visited Za'atari refugee camp and met children who have fled Syria for their lives. I heard the same tales of losing homes, their schools and their friends. And stories of unimaginable violence and danger. These children should be going to school and playing with their friends, dreaming of what they want to be when they grow up. These children are the future of Syria and they urgently need protection and the chance of an education before a whole generation is lost to the conflict.
The camp is a fragile and desperate place. There are thousands of people, including babies and very young children, living in freezing conditions with no education, limited food and healthcare. The efforts of the volunteers and agencies responding to the crisis are remarkable, but it is quite clear that much more needs to be done.
We have all heard about the terrible situation in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq causing people to risk their lives and make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean. However, what I have sadly come to realise is that not so many of us have heard much about the Eritreans also making this crossing.
I believe the London Conference can be a turning point for the Syrian people who have endured so many horrors since war engulfed their country. One conference can't end the fighting or undo the suffering but it can be the moment when we rise to an unprecedented challenge with an unprecedented response. In London I want the world to offer a different story on Syria and a new vision of hope to its people. This is an historic opportunity and the whole world must grasp it.
The international community is guilty of a grotesque lack of action and effectiveness. The authority of the UN - set up after the second world war precisely to ensure that this could never happen again - is being flouted and grossly undermined by this paralysis and failure. For everyone's sake this catastrophe must now be brought an end.
Let's be clear: wearing a niqab is not regarded as a religious requirement by the vast majority of Muslims. Even in President Rouhani's Iran, women do not cover their faces. It is a cultural tradition with its origins in the Arabian peninsula, exported by preachers who follow the teachings of wahhabism.
A lot of the blame for this unfinished business falls on the persisting inequalities in education, not the least of which is related to poverty. The 2015 GMR underlined this fact, showing that in low and middle income countries, the poorest children are 4 times less likely to go to school than the richest, and are 5 times less likely to complete primary education.
Our report recommends that consistent class time should be devoted to discussing political affairs. We're calling for schools to do more to provide young people with opportunities to learn about political parties and processes, and engage with political debates and ideas. This is something that needs to happen to get more young people engaged with mainstream politics and to make our political process more democratic.
I am certain politicians of all parties would agree that young families should not be left to live like those currently in the camp at Grande Synthe. In supporting the work of MSF and others, we hope both the UK and French Governments will assess the humanitarian need at the camps and provide assistance.
I agree with Mark Goldring of Oxfam GB that a crackdown on global tax havens is a necessary step towards ending this rampant global inequality. Indeed, it is also a necessary step towards international development more broadly... A Labour Government will genuinely tackle tax avoidance and work for ambitious global agreements on international development that seek to tackle inequality and its drivers.
Edhi not only epitomises the very creation of the Nobel Peace Prize based upon Sir Alfred Nobel's principles of social activism through peaceful means, he is a shining example of how sheer fortitude can create a legacy of real change. I hope his story is heard loudly when the nominations for the 2016 peace prize draw to a close in the coming weeks. In these bleak times whereby we are deluged with humanitarian crisis after crisis, the world can learn much from Edhi's simple yet profoundly illuminating code of conduct - 'live and help live'.
Being in a band means there isn't always much we can do to help causes through our work. So if we're asked, we try to take the opportunities. What's going on in Syria at the moment is so obviously pertinent, so present. The politics are enormously complicated and we don't profess to know half enough about it. But at its core is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime, and human beings who simply want to survive, who want their children to be safe. So, we and some other great musicians are doing a little gig this Friday 22nd to help raise money for Syria (we're DJing).