Legatum Institute in the News

It’s our turn to help the world’s most vulnerable children


It’s our turn to help the world’s most vulnerable children

Refugee children

The ‘Kindertransport’ was a British organised rescue of 10,000 children from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland just months before the outbreak of the Second World War. The United Kingdom rescued these predominantly Jewish children from Nazi persecution and welcomed them into British foster homes, hostels, schools and farms. In many cases, they were the only members of their families to survive the Holocaust.

Recent Commentaries

It’s our turn to help the world’s most vulnerable children

Friday, 16 November 2018

The ‘Kindertransport’ was a British organised rescue of 10,000 children from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland just months before the outbreak of the Second World War. The United Kingdom rescued these predominantly Jewish children from Nazi persecution and welcomed them into British foster homes, hostels, schools and farms. In many cases, they were the only members of their families to survive the Holocaust.

In the news: Philippa Stroud writes in City AM on the importance of ensuring work pays

Thursday, 1 November 2018

As part of Living Wage Week, our CEO Philippa Stroud explains why low pay matters, and how businesses can play their part in tackling poverty.

Read the full article here.

Philippa Stroud responds to the 2018 Budget

Monday, 29 October 2018

Our CEO Baroness Philippa Stroud welcomes the Chancellor’s reinvestment in Universal Credit which will help over 2.4 million families up and down the U.K.


Philippa Stroud shares why it’s important to empower women in order for a nation to reach its potential

Friday, 29 June 2018

Losing a partner will often be the most traumatic experience a person faces and can lead to detrimental effects on a person’s mental and physical health.

For many of the estimated 258 million widows globally, this grief and loss can be coupled with crushing poverty and persecution. For the estimated 584 million children of these women, this poverty can be extremely difficult to escape and can significantly affect the prosperity of the next generation. Around 11% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty, but globally almost 15% of widows live in extreme poverty where ​they are unable to meet their basic needs. The number of widows and the situation widows find themselves in are often symptomatic of wider issues in their society, and an effective response cannot fail to consider this within a wider context.

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Court rules Home Office failed to protect child trafficking victim

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Home Office broke human rights law by failing to protect a child trafficking victim, who subsequently went missing. This ruling sends a clear message that we have a duty of care to vulnerable child refugees.
In 2015, British police discovered the minor from Vietnam, who is still missing. He was placed in immigration detention where no age assessment was completed and he was not recognised as a potential victim of trafficking. The case yet again highlights the unacceptable risks faced by migrants, particularly unaccompanied children. For some 300,000 unaccompanied child refugees, the risks of trafficking and forced prostitution or forced labour are extremely high. A recent report by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) found that more than 120 child refugees believed to be trafficked to the UK had gone missing in the year to November 2017.

Student suicide rates highlight why we must do more to address adolescent mental ill-health

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal the extent of the mental health challenge amongst university students, with 95 suicides recorded in the year to July 2017.
The statistics come amidst growing calls for universities to do more to improve mental health services for their students,  with recent evidence suggesting the number of students dropping out of university with mental health problems has trebled in the past decade. Universities UK recently called for urgent action to improve the coordination of care between universities and the NHS, highlighting the need for health information to travel with students and for university mental health services to acknowledge and better support the challenges facing students.

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Legatum Institute receives prestigious award recognising our global Prosperity Index

Friday, 22 June 2018

We are honoured to accept the 2018 Award for the Betterment of the Human Condition from the International Society for Quality of Life Studies. This award has been given to recognise our work on the Prosperity Index, which has been an important tool for measuring prosperity across the globe for over a decade.

To be considered for this prestigious award, an organisation must have made a significant contribution to the development and use of Quality of Life measures. Past recipients include the United Nations Development Programme, the Gallup Organisation, and the OECD Better Life Index. We are honoured to be named among such a distinguished group.

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Child labour remains endemic across the globe

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Child labour remains endemic across the globe. The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) latest figures estimate that 152 million children — 64 million girls and 88 million boys — are subject to child labour globally, accounting for almost one in ten of all children worldwide.

Nearly half of these children engaged in labour are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety, and development. Children in employment, a broader measure comprising both child labour and permitted forms of employment involving children of legal working age, number 218 million.

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A new approach is needed to help the homeless create pathways out of poverty

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Having a secure home to live in is something most of us take for granted. Yet too many people don’t have a home to call their own, and are instead forced to rely on hostels and shelters, or to sleep rough.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to create their own pathways from poverty to prosperity, and having a home is an integral part of this. This week Crisis, the UK homelessness charity, has launched an innovative new plan which aims to see everyone have a place to live.

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Refugees, particularly unaccompanied children, face unacceptable risks in their efforts to reach safety

Monday, 11 June 2018

Spain has stepped in to accept a rescue ship carrying 629 migrants, including 123 unaccompanied children and seven pregnant women, after Italy and Malta refused permission for the ship to dock in its ports.

The case has again highlighted the unacceptable risks faced by migrants, particularly unaccompanied children. For some 300,000 unaccompanied child refugees, the risks of trafficking and forced prostitution or forced labour are extremely high. We know that in the Mediterranean, more than 75% of the 1,600 14 to 16 year-olds arriving in Italy reported being held against their will or forced to work. This staggering statistic is why we should be working to ensure that there are accessible, legal pathways which allow children to apply for asylum safely, and not be forced to take dangerous journeys to join their families.

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We need to reform our planning system to create the affordable homes the UK needs

Monday, 11 June 2018

Few things matter more to people than having a secure home to live in. The lack of affordable housing in the UK is fast-becoming one of the major challenges of our generation.

Legatum fellow and founding director of Create Streets, Nicholas Boys Smith, outlines the research programme that Create Streets is currently conducting together with the Legatum Institute

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Looming US-China trade wars risks leaving us all less prosperous

Monday, 11 June 2018

With the start date looming for American tariffs on Chinese goods, China and the US are on the brink of a £75 billion trade war, with profound implications for global prosperity.

The latest round of talks ended without a breakthrough, and with a resolution seemingly far from sight. Whilst Beijing issued a tough warning to President Trump over impending tariffs on Chinese goods, the President responded to the issue on twitter, claiming “the US has been ripped off by other countries for years on trade, time to get smart!” China has however said it is willing to increase imports from other countries, including the US, presenting itself as the voice of free trade and challenging the US “America first” rhetoric.

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Vulnerable refugees deserve a safe and secure environment in which to fulfil their vast potential

Thursday, 31 May 2018

The number of registered refugees has reached a record high, with an estimated 25.9 million refugees and asylum seekers. Of these, one third are Syrian. Since 2011, more than 5.5 million Syrians have fled the country and 6.1 million have been internally displaced.

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Universities must improve their mental health services to safeguard students' wellbeing

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Mental health is an issue in the spotlight as never before, especially amongst young people. Rising suicide rates among university students coupled with a trebling of students dropping out with mental health problems have prompted calls for universities to improve mental health services.

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Business is stepping up in the fight against modern slavery

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

There are an increasing number of initiatives and collaborations aimed at helping businesses tackle modern slavery however, it can be confusing to pinpoint the most relevant partners to work with. It’s crucial that employers receive a continuous stream of accurate advice and tools to help them contribute to the eradication of modern slavery.

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Penalising homelessness will not help rough sleepers create pathways out of poverty

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Despite updated Home Office guidance at the start of the year, homeless people are still being fined, receiving criminal convictions and being imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping.

In 2014, local authorities were given strengthened powers to combat anti-social behavior through the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). New guidance tell councils not to misuse antisocial behavior laws by targeting homeless people and says PSPOs, “should not be used to target people based solely on the fact that someone is homeless or rough sleeping”.

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Victims of trafficking at risk of "industrial scale" sexual exploitation in 'pop-up' brothels

Monday, 21 May 2018

Vulnerable women are being sexually exploited on an “industrial scale”, according to an inquiry by MPs into 'pop-up' brothels.

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Venezuela's election outcome shines a spotlight on a nation in turmoil

Monday, 21 May 2018

In an election tarnished by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging, Venezuela’s incumbent President Nicolás Maduro has won re-election.

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Given the right opportunities, refugees can contribute to our economies

Monday, 21 May 2018

The number of registered refugees has reached a record high, with an estimated 25.9 million refugees and asylum seekers. That's a lot of human potential.

Often these refugees are met with hostility by locals and viewed as an added economic burden on already strained infrastructure and basic services. A fresh and innovative approach to how we accommodate displaced people could go a long way to changing this view and provide opportunities for refugees to flourish and contribute in their host countries.

Growing evidence, including a recent report by the Centre for Entrepreneurs, shows that refugees make great entrepreneurs. Given the right opportunities, refugees can not only support themselves but also create jobs in their host countries, reduce refugee-related public spending and strengthen social integration.

At Legatum Institute we believe that all people, regardless of whether they feature in migration, refugee or trafficking statistics should have the opportunity to create their own pathway to prosperity, able to fulfil their vast potential in a safe and secure environment. The Legatum Institute will soon publish the first report of our Global People Movements programme, asking what more we can do to support some of the world's most vulnerable people and provide these opportunities. 

Our work calling out Russia

Friday, 11 May 2018

Since its inception, the Legatum Institute has been a strong champion of freedom, liberty, and democracy. Our vision for a prosperous world is one in which nations value economic and social wellbeing.

To achieve this, national leaders must ensure their economies are open, individuals are empowered, and societies are inclusive. A key principle underpinning a prosperous society is that its people are free to make their own decisions. 

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Matthew Elliott says farewell to the Legatum Institute

Friday, 11 May 2018

When Philippa Stroud offered me a position as a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute at the beginning of 2017, I had just finished the close down of Vote Leave. We had finalised the accounts, cleared out the campaign HQ and I was wondering what to do next.

How do you follow one of the most historic events of recent years?

What I wanted to do was to take stock of what had happened, and understand the wider international context to the Brexit vote. And Philippa was kind enough to give me a warm space and a friendly home to research, write and speak about the political change Britain and the world was experiencing.

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Ensuring the safety and security of the Rohingya people is of paramount importance

Friday, 4 May 2018

A United Nations Security Council delegation has expressed dismay at the continued suffering of the Rohingya people following a recent visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya people have fled their homes in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma) since August 2017, resulting in what is considered the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. While the UN has already condemned the violence as both ethnic cleansing and having “all the hallmarks of genocide”, this week's delegation is the first visit by the Security Council, which has the power to refer matters to the international criminal court (ICC) and deploy peacekeepers. Commenting on their trip, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, Karen Pierce said, "the most important thing is to create the conditions on the ground so the refugees can go home in safety and security."

Matthew Elliott says that the US must address declining social well being if it is to secure its long-term prosperity

Friday, 27 April 2018

With Emmanuel Macron’s official state visit to the US, Angela Merkel’s markedly more low-key trip to fend off a trade war with the EU, and the announcement that Donald Trump will visit the UK in July, relations between North America and the three key Western European powers has featured heavily in the news recently.

One of the most remarkable findings from our 2017 Prosperity Index was that North America had fallen behind Western Europe to become the second most prosperous region in the world, for the first time in the publication’s history. Prosperity in North America declined faster than in any other region in 2017, driven by weakening Social Capital, Personal Freedom and Safety and Security.

Read more here.

Arthur Brooks - how can we create the pathways to lift the next two billion people out of poverty?

Friday, 27 April 2018

Since 1970, the number of people around the world living in severe poverty has declined by eighty per cent, due in large part to the role of free markets and free enterprise.

This was one of countless thought-provoking arguments advanced by Arthur Brooks during a whirlwind tour of London this week. The outgoing president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and bestselling author has become one of the world's foremost advocates for free markets for their role as one of the most effective pathways from poverty. 

Want to know more? You can find out about Arthur and his work here, watch his 2016 TED talk here or read his regular column in the New York Times here

Young people are three times more likely to suffer from loneliness than pensioners

Friday, 20 April 2018

Despite being increasingly connected via social media, new statistics suggest that young people are longing for a meaningful sense of community.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 16-24 year-olds in the UK are three times more likely to feel "always or often" lonely compared with those over 64. In addition, one in ten young adults reported regularly feeling lonely, compared with one in twenty in other age groups. Loneliness can have a profound impact on the mental and physical health of people of all ages, with studies deeming it more dangerous than smoking and obesity.

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In City A.M. Molly Kiniry says the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting provides the chance to discuss trade with a focus on developing countries

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) currently underway is the perfect petri dish for the start of trade talks.

These 54 heads of government, plus business representatives from each country, can say with authority (and this week, in privacy) what they would need to make a Commonwealth free trade agreement (FTA) happen.

The Commonwealth has not historically been a trading organisation, and at present its members are bound only by the bilateral agreements they have independently signed with one another. But Brexit presents the opportunity to rethink its strategic value as an organisation which covers five continents and billions of people.

Read the full article in City A.M. here.

We all have a role to play in supporting Syria's vulnerable civilians

Friday, 13 April 2018

The recent chemical attack on Douma is the latest atrocity in a civil war which has had a devastating impact on Syria's civilian population.

The civil war in Syria has just entered its eighth year. And as the attack in Douma demonstrates, it shows little sign of abating. Its impact on the country’s people and communities has been truly devastating, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed. Additionally, close to six million Syrians have fled the country as refugees, with a similar number now displaced internally within its borders. 

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New statistics illustrate the growing challenge of modern slavery in the UK

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The number of potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery in the UK has risen by more than a third, according to a new report released by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The figures show that in 2017 5,145 potential victims were referred to the NCA, up from 3,804 in 2016. Those referred as victims of modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) came from 116 different nationalities, with UK, Albanian and Vietnamese nationals remaining the most commonly reported victims. For the first time British citizens were the largest nationality recorded in the figures, up from 326 in 2016 to 819 in 2017. The increase in British numbers is largely down to an increase in minors being referred as suspected victims of labour or sexual exploitation, up 66 per cent.

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New leadership could put Ethiopia on a pathway toward greater stability

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The profile of Ethiopia's leader-in-waiting promises to bring three years of anti-government protests to an end.         

Africa’s second most populous country has been in a state of emergency since February, following Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s unexpected resignation after five years in power. His departure came in response to three years of social unrest which have claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Protests have been caused by persistent concerns over human rights violations including the imprisonment, torture and extrajudicial killing of political dissidents.

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Read Nicholas Boys Smith's article in the Evening Standard which looks to a community-led future for the Lancaster West Estate

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

"The problems of council management (sometimes good, sometimes bad, always in charge) cannot be solved by one inquiry or one new management team. The good news is that the residents of the Lancaster West Estate (of which Grenfell Tower is part) are starting to consider alternative models.

One suggestion, as Danny Kruger and I argue in a new paper, is for residents to take over running the estate as a Community Land Trust. These have a long pedigree in rural areas; now the model is catching on in cities. On the Walterton and Elgin estates in Westminster, residents forced the council to hand over their homes in 1992. They now run the place. More are planned across London."

Read the full article in the Evening Standard here.

Read our paper, A community-led future: A proposal for the neighbourhood of Grenfell Tower.

New African free trade deal promises to be a transformative pathway from poverty

Monday, 26 March 2018

Last week's creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) brings into being one of the world's largest free trade blocs, which promises to open the continent's economies to unprecedented trade and investment.

Trade between African nations remains comparatively low, accounting for only around ten per cent of commerce on the continent. CFTA, agreed at the AU's recent summit in Kigali, is designed to change that, by allowing the free flow of goods and services between its members. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has estimated its impact could increase intra-African trade by as much as 52 per cent by 2022, compared with trade levels in 2010. 

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Speaking in the House of Lords our CEO explains the need for security collaboration with the EU to tackle human trafficking

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

"My Lords, I will speak to Amendment 222. Human trafficking is one of the great global scourges of our generation. Globally, 66,520 people were identified as victims of human trafficking in 2016—a 40% increase from 2012. Even this number may represent less than 1% of the real scale of the problem.

Identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking is complex because their situations are complex and hidden. Someone may start their journey as a migrant but end up being exploited because of their vulnerability, and become a victim of human trafficking. The situation of a person who has been trafficked is desperate—stripped of agency, power and dignity, often in an unfamiliar country, with little way out."

Watch Philippa's speech here.

Danny Kruger writes in the Spectator that residents should decide the future of the Lancaster West Estate

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Everyone agrees the Grenfell Tower disaster must usher in a new era of social housing in the UK. The danger is that it sends us back to a very old era, when the council owned, managed and controlled community housing.

There is another way forward, one which meets the rightful sense of injustice felt by people living on Lancaster West, the estate where Grenfell Tower stands – not the injustice of a botched refurbishment which (probably) caused the tragedy, but the injustice of residents not being listened to when they raised concerns, over many years, about their safety or quality of life.

Read the full article in the Spectator here.

Read our paper, A community-led future: A proposal for the neighbourhood of Grenfell Tower.

Nicholas Boys Smith from Create Streets writes in CapX that the legacy of the Grenfell tragedy should be one of community ownership

Thursday, 15 March 2018

No change in governance or management can make good what happened last year. But if the right decisions are taken, the legacy for the community and for society can, in part, be a good one. Our hope is that the neighbourhood of Grenfell Tower may make something beautiful for the future: a new model of community living that will inspire the rest of London and the UK.

Read the full article in CapX here.

Read our paper, A community-led future: A proposal for the neighbourhood of Grenfell Tower.

Our CEO tells the House of Lords why the UK must be generous and open-minded towards refugees in times of trouble

Thursday, 15 March 2018

"Unaccompanied children face unacceptable risks. For some 300,000 unaccompanied child refugees, the risks of trafficking and forced prostitution or forced labour are extremely high. We know that in the Mediterranean, more than 75% of the 1,600 14 to 16 year-olds arriving in Italy reported being held against their will or forced to work. This staggering statistic is why we should be working to ensure that there are accessible, legal pathways which allow children to apply for asylum safely from the country they are in, and not be forced to take dangerous journeys to join their families."

Watch Philippa's speech here.

In City A.M. Matthew Elliott participates in a debate considering what Italy’s election means for Europe

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Matthew Elliott debated with Italian economist, Beatrice Faleri about the impact of the Italian election. He says the election of a populist, eurosceptic government in one of the EU’s founding member states is not good news for Presidents Macron and Juncker who have spent the past six months trying to shift the EU in a more integrationist direction.

Read the full debate in City A.M. here.

Latest kidnappings demonstrate why insecurity is hampering Nigeria's pathway from poverty

Friday, 2 March 2018

Almost four years on from the Chibok crisis, the recent abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi illustrates why terrorism must be defeated if Nigeria is to fulfil its potential.

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The Guardian publishes an apology to Legatum Group for inaccurate and misleading reporting

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

In an example of good journalism, the Guardian has published an apology to Legatum Group and its partners for an inaccurate and misleading article published on Wednesday, 31 January 2018. 

Read the apology here.

On BBC Radio4 Shanker Singham discusses the UK's opportunities once it leaves the EU

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Shanker Singham, Chair of our Special Trade Commission, was asked by BBC Radio4's Today Programme about the changes he expects to occur as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.  

Shanker says that regulatory autonomy is important so that we can improve our own regulatory environment, work decisively in organisations such as the World Trade Organization and sign advanced, liberalising trade deals with other countries. 

Listen to the interview here (at 1:42:20).

Radomir Tylecote tells City AM that joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be a true statement of intent by global Britain

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Participating in City AM's debate with Labour MP Alison McGovern, Radomir argued that membership of TPP would demonstrate Britain’s new trading independence.

The TPP is one of the most advanced trade agreements in the world, but doubters have suggested that, not being a Pacific nation, Britain should not or cannot join. Not so. TPP is an open agreement, and signatories have indicated they want us on board.

But we won’t be able to join in just any circumstances. We will need control over not only tariffs, but also regulations currently determined by the EU. Many do not meet TPP standards – for example, in data flows and agriculture – as they favour incumbents, harming consumer welfare. Being ready to join the TPP, and other agreements, will require that we determine regulations ourselves.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the world, and the TPP gives Britain a trading opportunity we should not miss.

You can access the full debate here