News / Middle East

UN: More than 1 Million Syrian Children are Refugees

Syrian refugee children gather around fire near makeshift tents, central Ankara, Oct. 5, 2013.
Syrian refugee children gather around fire near makeshift tents, central Ankara, Oct. 5, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations warned Friday that many Syrian children are suffering from psychological stress, are not in school, and are living separately from parents as a result of the nearly three year-long crisis.
 
According to U.N. data, more than 1 million Syrian children are registered with the world deliberative body's refugee agency, UNHCR, the majority of who are in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.
 
Despite fleeing violence that has engulfed the country as government and opposition forces battle, these children continue to suffer the impacts of war.
 
In a new report, “The Future of Syria: Refugee Children in Crisis,” UNHCR says of the 1.1 million children it has registered, 75 percent are under the age of 12. The agency is urging international donors to step up financial support to refugee families, which in turn could help displaced children.
 
“It illustrates the immense suffering — we are talking here of psychological distress, withdrawal, anger, loneliness, fractured families and widespread use of child refugees as labor. And also tragically moving forward, more than half of Syria’s child refugees are missing out on schooling," said UNHCR spokesman Brian Hansford
 
Despite efforts to keep Syrian refugee children in school, as of September, more than 100,000 were not enrolled in Jordan and twice that number could be out of school in Lebanon by the end of this year, the U.N. reports.
 
Disabled children are having an even harder time with already limited educational opportunities.
 
Many children, especially boys, are out of school because their families need them for work, and Hansford says the report found that one-in-10 Syrian refugee children in the region are working, many for long hours and in dangerous conditions, including in construction and agriculture.
 
“One child interviewed, he was burned by hot oil in a restaurant, another cut his hand while fixing a car mirror, and a third was beaten by the son of his boss," Hansford said. "Basically these are children deprived of their childhood.”
 
The report also indicates that refugee babies are also at risk and lack proper documentation. Babies born in Syria to families that fled the country — or those born as refugees in Jordan or Lebanon — are typically without birth certificates, which, according to Hansford, can create problems in the future.
 
“A birth certificate is a vital document to protect against risks such as statelessness," he said. "Without a birth certificate, people can have difficulties later enrolling in schools, or getting health care and other services, and basically their human rights are in peril.”
 
The report also found that many Syrian children are growing up without one or both of their parents.
 
More than 70,000 Syrian refugee families live without fathers and nearly 4,000 refugee children are unaccompanied by or separated from both parents. The U.N. has centers for these children in refugee camps where they try to provide social services while they try to reunite the youngsters with relatives.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Delilah Lopez from: Loveland,CO
November 30, 2013 12:38 AM
I hope these children can get help from more privileged countries, they are innocent and deserve a chance at life asking other things.

by: Marius Donnelly
November 30, 2013 12:15 AM
I am challenged by this article, and its lack of consistency or situational context:
1. 1 Million Children registered - what does that mean? in care, lost or ?
2. "The agency is urging international donors to step up financial support to refugee families, which in turn could help displaced children." How? Through what avenue? and "Could"? help
3. Schooling "facts" : more than 100,000 were not enrolled in Jordan and twice that number could be out of school in Lebanon
{That's 300K what about the other 700K+?} next line indicates disabled children may be having a challenge with finding schools too.???
4. The final paragraph moves us from Million to thousands.... "More than 70,000 Syrian refugee families live without fathers and nearly 4,000 refugee children are unaccompanied by or separated from both parents" Does that mean there are 4000 orphans out of 1.2Million?

This article does not reflect well on its author, nor the editors that allowed it through without challenging. There is no doubt that a war zone would make schooling challenging, and if you live in a refugee camp and try to earn wages as a child doing a normally adult job you may get injured. But, this poorly told tale does not imply the children were doing anything than a 3rd world population does, works early in life, in challenging conditions, etc.. The truth of the situation is the State has gone to war with its people, not for the first time, and the only group fighting to defeat the tyrant is Al Queda? Saudi Arabia & Israel, and the USA whiffles ... Poor reflection of VOA News here in this article today

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs