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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs