2013 marks War Child’s 20th anniversary and two decades of unique work changing and saving the lives of over 800,000 children in the world’s most war-torn countries, children who would otherwise have been forgotten.

War Child’s incredible achievement is the result of working closely with the biggest artists of the last twenty years as well as continued support from the British music industry and music fans themselves.

From Bosnia, Chechnya and Rwanda to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo, War Child have given children the security, care, education and skills they need to build a better future for themselves. War Child is the only international organisation that concentrates on the innocent victims of war: the children.

The BRIT Awards will recognise their incredible work at the 2013 ceremony by presenting War Child with the first Special Recognition Award.

In the last twenty years War Child has produced award winning albums, hit singles, unique musical moments and amazing concerts: in 1995 U2 recorded ‘Miss Sarajevo’ with all proceeds going to the charity; in the same year Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Blur, Manic Street Preachers, Oasis, Paul Weller and The Stone Roses amongst others joined forces to record the ‘Help’ album in an incredible 24 hours; in 2009 Coldplay, The Killers, Bono and Gary Barlow shared the stage at Shepherds Bush Empire, at a War Child concert which also marked the re-launch of the historic London venue. War Child has been supported by everyone from David Bowie to Elbow; Stevie Wonder to Muse; Luciano Pavarotti to Amy Winehouse.

War Child proves music can help make the world a better place.

War Child’s Music and Fundraising Director Ben Knowles said: “This is fantastic news for us. When we began in 1993, in response to the Bosnian conflict, we had one simple belief – that children are the innocent victims of war and no child should be affected by it. Twenty years on, our belief remains the same. Our relationship with artists and the music industry means that we’ve helped children born into some of the most violent conflicts. Music has been a powerful tool in rebuilding children’s lives. This award helps further highlight our work. Everybody who works for War Child and everybody who has helped War Child should feel fantastically proud of all our ongoing achievements”.

Supporter Paul McCartney said: “A lot of people say that music cannot change the world… I think it really can make a difference. Music can make people aware, put the issue into focus and shine a spotlight on the bad stuff. It also eats away at the horrors and alleviates some of the pain by raising the money to help these children. I have been supporting War Child since 1995. Their work saves lives. I urge everyone to support War Child”.

The decision to present this Award means that the Outstanding Contribution Award will be rested in 2013.

The winner of the Critics’ Choice and full category list will be announced on Thursday 20th December.


Right now, War Child is on the ground in Syria, creating 'Safe Havens' away from the violence where children can be protected and cared for. To assist Syria appeal text PROTECT3 to 70444 to automatically donate £3 and help War Child continue their vital work