Kids bearing brunt of Syria conflict: Report
Syrian children are bearing the brunt of the international community’s failure to end the ongoing conflict in Syria, a joint report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the international organization of Save the Children says.
“Syria’s children are paying a heavy price for the world’s failure to put an end to the conflict,” said the Thursday report, entitled Small Hands, Heavy Burden: How the Syrian Conflict Driving More Children into the Workforce.
The report called on the international community to step up efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian children, who are “carrying heavy loads, being exposed to pesticides and toxic chemicals, and working long hours” as a result of the conflict.
The two agencies said that “inside Syria, children are now contributing to the family income in more than three quarters of surveyed households.”
“In Jordan, close to half of all Syrian refugee children are now the joint or sole family breadwinners in surveyed households, while in some parts of Lebanon, children as young as six years old are reportedly working,” the report added.
It also noted that three out of four Syrian children surveyed in Jordan had health problems at work, adding that as much as 22 percent of the children employed in the agricultural sector have also suffered injuries while working.
“The most vulnerable of all working children are those involved in armed conflict, sexual exploitation and illicit activities including organized begging and child trafficking,” the report said.
Syria has been experiencing a foreign-sponsored crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri terrorist groups has so far left over 230,000 people dead, according to latest reports.
While 3.88 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the conflict, some 7.6 million people have also become internally displaced, according to the UN.