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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid