News / Middle East

    UN: Syria War Has Caused One Million Child Refugees

    Syria War Has Devastating Impact on Childreni
    X
    August 23, 2013 11:33 PM
    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
    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.
    x
    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.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora