Images of the Day
A “Shameful Milestone”: One Million Children Are Now Refugees From Syrian Violence, UN Says
August 23, 2013
submit to reddit

syria-children-getty-walking-jm.jpg
Syrian refugee children walking in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, Syria, July 15, 2013 (Photo: JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Nations is calling it a "shameful milestone": as of today, one million children have been forced from their homes in Syria by ongoing violence, according to a UN report. The majority of the displaced kids - 740,000 of them - are under the age of 11.

"This one millionth child refugee is not just another number," said the Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Anthony Lake.

"This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend."

Children make up half of all the refugees who have been driven abroad since the conflict began three years ago, UN agencies say.

syria-children-getty-ramadan-dinner-joseph.jpg
Fatima, a Syrian refugee widow, and her daughters eat Ramadan dinner in Tripoli, Lebanon, July 2013 (Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Yoka Brandt, deputy executive director of UNICEF, says the one million number offers a harsh perspective on the situation:

"If we just realize that last year around this time we had 70,000 Syrian refugee children and today we have reached one million, that tells us something about the escalation of this crisis and the problems facing children," he said.

syria-children-getty-wounded-str.jpg
A nurse tends to a wounded boy in Baalbek, Lebanon on August 3, 2013 (Photo: AFP/STR/Getty)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says there's a risk of the displacement leading to a "lost generation" of Syrian youth. He told a press conference that he has seen displaced adolescents whose anger has become "extremely dangerous" to society and the region, Thomson Reuters reports.

Most of the displaced children have arrived in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, with more and more fleeing to North Africa and Europe, the UN says.

The impact on young people doesn't stop with those who have left the country. Another two million children are uprooted within Syria and are often attacked or recruited as fighters in violation of humanitarian law, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and UNICEF.

The UN says funds for humanitarian assistance in Syria are running low. Here are links to a few organizations that are currently working with refugees and within Syria itself:

World Food Programme

UNHCR

The Canadian Red Cross

The International Rescue Committee

The photos on this page are of displaced Syrian children in refugee camps, both within and outside of the country.

syria-children-ap-may-burhan.jpg
Syrian refugee children at a wedding hall in Reyhanli, Turkey, May 2013 (Photo: AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

syria-children-getty-food-line-mezar.jpg
Syrian refugees line up for a free Iftar meal in Raqqa, Syria, July, 2013 (Photo: Mezar Matar/AFP/Getty)

syria-children-getty-football-khalil.jpg
Children play football at the northern Jordanian Zaatari refugee camp, July 6, 2013 (Photo: Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty)

syria-children-ap-al-faour-hussein.jpg
Refugees pose outside their tents after they flooded with rain in Al-Faour, Lebanon on January 8, 2013 (Photo: AP/Hussein Malla)

syria-children-getty-dishes-safin.jpg
A Syrian-Kurdish girl washing dishes at the Quru Gusik refugee camp near Arbil, Iraq, August 22, 2013 (Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty)

Via Thomson Reuters Foundation

Comments

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.