McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

War Child Canada president named to Order of Canada

Published: February 20, 2007
Dr. Peter Szatmari
Dr. Eric Hoskins, president of War Child Canada and graduate of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Eric Hoskins, a medical doctor who has dedicated his life to helping civilians caught in the crossfire of war, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. The announcement was made today by the Governor-General of Canada Michaelle Jean.

Hoskins was born and raised in Simcoe, Ontario, and attended McMaster University in Hamilton. He is currently president of War Child Canada, a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping children affected by war.

"I am grateful to the Governor General's office for awarding me for this tremendous honour, and in receiving it I hope to honour all those who I have known and lost to war," says Hoskins. "War is humanity's worst horror: The ongoing crises in Iraq, Afghanistan and Darfur point to the need for all of us to continue our efforts to protect the most vulnerable -- particularly women and children -- and to find peaceful solutions to conflict."

A leading expert on war and its effect on civilian populations, Hoskins has more than two decades of experience working with the United Nations and non-governmental organizations in some of the world's most heavily affected conflict areas: Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Burundi and Somalia.

Over the course of his professional career, Hoskins has also spearheaded innovative outreach programs that actively engage Canadian youth on international issues, fostering their participation and increasing public awareness in these critical areas.

From 1997 to 2000, Hoskins served as senior policy adviser to then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, and contributed to Canadian foreign policy in the areas of human rights, human security, humanitarian affairs, peace building, war-affected children and Africa. Subsequently, he served as an advisorr to the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations, and has been involved in setting United Nations policy on issues concerning the protection of children living with war.

At the age of 33, Eric became the youngest-ever recipient of the United Nations Lester B. Pearson Peace Medal. He has also received the Governor-General's Meritorious Service Cross for his work in war-torn communities, was awarded Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award (Globe and Mail), and comments regularly in the media on the global impact of war on civilian populations. He has received honourary doctorates for his work from McMaster University, Brock University and Niagara University.

A graduate of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Hoskins furthered his education as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he completed a doctorate in public health and epidemiology. Hoskins also holds graduate degrees from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

War Child Canada provides support to children and their families in conflict and post-conflict communities around the world through humanitarian programs that focus on education, HIV/AIDS, psychosocial rehabilitation, child rights, health, vocational training and material needs. War Child Canada currently implements humanitarian programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, northern Uganda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Georgia and Ghana.

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