News / Middle East

UN: Syria War Has Caused One Million Child Refugees

Syria War Has Devastating Impact on Childreni
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August 23, 2013
Syria's civil war is having a devastating impact on children, with child refugees now numbering one million. The United Nations refugee agency and the U.N. Children's Fund [UNICEF] released that new figure on Friday. VOA's Alex Villarreal reports the trauma does not end at the border for children forced to flee the fighting.

Syria War Has Devastating Impact on Children

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Lisa Schlein
— The United Nations reports one million Syrian children are refugees from conflict in their country.

Two U.N. agencies say Syria’s war, which is well into its third year, is the most serious crisis facing children today. They say children make up half of all the Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries and increasingly to North Africa and Europe.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said the children arrive in countries of asylum traumatized, depressed and angry.
 
“If one looks at the number of refugee children, if one adds about 2 million children that are internally displaced inside Syria and the millions that are trapped in their villages, in their cities in the middle of a war, we can really talk of the enormous risk of Syria facing the problem of a lost generation,” said Guterres.

Map showing Syrian refugee populations.Map showing Syrian refugee populations.
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Map showing Syrian refugee populations.
Map showing Syrian refugee populations.
Latest U.N. figures show three quarters of the child refugees are under the age of 11. The U.N. agencies report that nearly 167,000 refugee children have received psychological counseling. But many others that need such help are not getting it.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt said the children's crisis is escalating. One year ago, there were 70,000 Syrian refugee children, compared to the current number of one million.

“Children that have to run away from horror and are traumatized, children being denied a normal childhood and then face the risk, serious protection risks - sexual exploitation, child labor, early marriage. But also children that are robbed of their future because they are missing out on their third year in school, and increasingly children also becoming angry and frustrated at their plight,” said Brandt.

The U.N. says some of the refugee children have been recruited as child soldiers at a camp in Jordan and at camps in Iraq. They say more than 3,500 children in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have crossed from Syria unaccompanied or separated from their families.

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by: Richard from: North Carolina, USA
August 23, 2013 9:55 PM
The attacks involved 5 areas and were immediately followed by Syrian army artillery and air attacks, with ground assaults the next day. Clearly, Syria did' this. Why? Remember two weeks ago the rebels took a dozen villages in the Alawite homeland, right by Assad's home town. Syria had to shift troops from other areas to drive them out. If Syria can't even defend their dictator's home province they are clearly short of troops. City fighting is very costly, just look at Stalingrad. They were hoping to reduce their casualties. Casualties they can no longer afford. I suppose Assad figured that if Obama attacked it would be symbolic - the chemical weapons stores. I think he's probably right. What I think we can learn from this is that casualties are Syria's weakness.


by: mike king from: california
August 23, 2013 9:05 PM
Few in the mid east denounce the bombers, killer of children and exploiters who use innocence to carry destructive devices. Now recruited kids for their armies will be used for cannon fodder and to find mines in mine fields. Until the world denounces the actions of a few seeking power and glory for causes that died centuries ago and moves against them there will be no peace.
Smart people with ignorant causes will be buried in the pile of historical nothingness that accompanies empty revenge. Get smart and bring your countries up from the sands of time instead of destroying the future of your own children and releasing hell fire on your region. You blame the US and Israel.
What's your excuse when the US doesn't want or need your oil? Israel will never lay down to people who fire rockets at them, kill innocents, and try to steal land bought and paid for by blood, hard work, and cash. Attack Israel and many Christians will take up the cause and fight against you.


by: Hadwa Al Tuz from: Egypt
August 23, 2013 1:54 PM
where are the Arab nations who are so eager to condemn the US and Israel...???

In Response

by: Dexter Joseph Diaz from: Qatar
August 23, 2013 5:18 PM
I may not care about little things in life, I am a bad person, but I can't imagine how would anyone, would live knowing , that what they just did, ended the lives of all those innocent Children, it may not be a holocaust, but It will be . . Where are those so Called American Freedom Fighter Conflict Intermediar when you need them ?

In Response

by: Hasbara Murdererberg from: Toronto
August 23, 2013 5:08 PM
The Arab nations are under Israeli supported dictatorships being murdered by the mercenary armies of US and Israel.

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