A couple of days ago, a group of young campaigners at the Hampstead School in London put their questions to actor Tom Hiddleston and Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening about the UK’s role in keeping children safe in humanitarian emergencies, as part of our ongoing campaign. Our gallery has been updated with images from the event, and you can read the official UNICEF post below.
“Children are facing more devastating wars and disasters than ever before,” said Tom, a Unicef UK Ambassador. “I have seen for myself in South Sudan that children are the hardest hit in emergencies. Children have been killed, orphaned, forced to become soldiers, kidnapped, and traumatised.”
Pupils shared what they thought the priorities should be in the lead up to the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in less than three weeks’ time. Top of their minds was the refugee crisis, protecting schools in war zones, and ensuring children’s rights and voices are recognised, regardless of their situation or background.
Last year the students had been involved in OutRight – a week of activities around Universal Children’s Day celebrating and promoting children’s rights – where they looked at how children’s rights are affected by humanitarian emergencies. Today, they were handing letters and drawings from OutRight participants across the country to Justine, on behalf of the UK Government, to prioritise protecting children in emergencies.
As soon as we sit down, in the far corner of the Four Seasons Hotel lounge in Beverly Hills, Tom Hiddleston spots my pages of questions on the table and thanks me. “Wow, I’m so honoured. Thank you for going to so much trouble,” he says.
I tell him I’m just doing my job but he thanks me all the same, for watching his television series and his movies and for attending that screening last week and reading all those articles in his press file, particularly the one he wrote himself for the Radio Times. When it turns out some of my questions are too personal for him to answer, he apologises. Not a mumbled apology, but a full-eye-contact, sunken-shouldered “sorry”. He’s so sorry that I’m sorry for asking. He’s also sorry that he showed up five minutes late, and that his crazy schedule means we’re stuck in this bar on a Monday evening instead of, “Oh, I don’t know, playing pool or going for a walk in the canyons in this lovely weather. So I totally appreciate you making the time to accommodate. Thank you.”
Tom attended the ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology’ Costume Institute Gala earlier tonight, and our gallery has been updated with the first batch of images from the event. We’ll be adding more through the week.
Tom attended the 102nd White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner earlier tonight, and our gallery has been updated with images from event. He posed with actress Carrie Fisher, most known for her work as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise, as well as her beloved dog, Gary.