Syrian children are the first victims of conflict. Often witnesses and targets of violence, they are leaving the country for refugee camps in foreign countries.
Not only have children often been victims of mistreatment, abuse, and sexual violence, but they have also been deported, imprisoned, and tortured.Children in a workshop of the association Save the Children © Save the Children / Hedinn Halldorsson
The vital needs of refugee children
There have been numerous violations of children’s rights in Syria. These children need psychological support in order to allow them to heal after the trauma they have experienced, and to find a balance after having been separated from their parents.
Their health and basic needs must be looked after in refugee camps. Refugee children should be given access to healthy living conditions, including clean drinking water and medical assistance. Also, when winter comes, there aren’t nearly enough blankets and warm clothing available, putting the refugees in danger.
During the summer, the need for clean drinking water increases. This has become harder to find since the start of the conflict. Without clean drinking water, the risk of outbreaks increases, putting the especially fragile lives of children in danger.
Access to education for refugee children
Living in a refugee camp is a precarious situation that hinders a child’s education. Some think they will be able to return to school when they return to Syria, although this is very uncertain because Syrian school aren’t safe places.
Schools are often targets for attacks (as of February 2013, 2,445 schools have suffered damaged), which is why some Syrian children arrive in the camps having missed 18 months of education. In Jordan, a country which has received around half a million Syrian refugees, 60% of child refugees aren’t educated.
Because of this, UNICEF has warned the international community that Syrian refugee children risk becoming a “lost generation“.