News / Middle East

Syrian Children 'Forgotten Victims' of Crisis, Says Aid Group

Syrian refugee children play with clay after workers end work at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, September 2, 2012.
Syrian refugee children play with clay after workers end work at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, September 2, 2012.
Selah Hennessy
One in three Syrian children report having been hit, kicked or shot at during the country's bloody two-year conflict, according to the charity Save the Children.  

Save the Children’s Saba Mubaslat spoke to VOA from Amman, the capital of Jordan. Syrian refugees have been flooding across the border into Jordan and other neighboring countries, many to stay in sprawling and overcrowded camps.

Mubaslat described watching the children as they arrive by bus at Zataari camp, the largest in Jordan. "You look at the faces and they are so expressionless," Mubaslat said. "Children do not know how to react to their new realities. Losing everything, leaving everything behind - your house, your playground, your school, peers, extended family - and coming to a completely new place called a "camp" is devastating to children."

Loading...



The charity's report, published Wednesday, references research carried out by Bahcesehir University in Turkey.

It said children have been targeted. Young boys, it said, are being used by armed groups as porters, runners and human shields and some girls are being married early to ‘protect’ them from feared sexual violence.

Mubaslat said many children arriving at camps appear traumatized. She described one boy who, she said, didn’t have the vocabulary to describe his experiences.

“The only way by which that little kid could really express that tragedy by continuously drawing pictures of guns and dead bodies and a lot of blood all around the page - it was really painful seeing that from a child who is only six years old,” Mubaslat said.

The charity's report said children inside Syria are under constant risk of malnutrition, disease, and trauma.

A separate report published by the United Nations Children’s Fund on Tuesday also highlighted the plight of children in Syria’s conflict.

It said nearly half of the four million people in need of aid inside Syria are under the age of 18. More than 500,000 are children under the age of five.

UNICEF estimates that one in every five schools in Syria has either been destroyed or is being used by displaced people seeking shelter.

According to U.N. rules, non-governmental organizations must be authorized to work inside Syria by the Syrian government. About a dozen international NGO’s have received that permission, but rebels say the distribution of aid is unequal.

Save the Children wants the U.N. Security Council to back a plan to end the violence and ensure children across Syria get humanitarian aid.

Spokeswoman Mubaslat said, “Humanitarian organizations are waiting for permission to go inside Syria and provide services. Until now we did not succeed in convincing the Syrian government that this access would lessen the pressure.”

Save the Children compiled its report, called “Childhood Under Fire,” to mark two years since the start of Syria’s conflict.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid