Story: One million Syrian children have been forced to leave their country after more than two years of civil conflict that has seen hundreds-of-thousands perish, said the United Nations on Friday.
Children make up half of all refugees from the Syria conflict, according to UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency.
Most have arrived in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, though increasingly, Syrians are fleeing to North Africa and Europe.
Latest figures show that some seven-hundred-and-forty-thousand Syrian child refugees are under the age of 11.
In the Za’atari refugee camp in neighbouring Jordan—home to one-hundred-and-thirty-thousand Syrians—children are led in exercise routines and games to keep them entertained.
But for many, memories are as vivid as they have ever been.
[Iman, 11-year-old Refugee from Dera'a]: “The principal told us the army was going to take over our school. I asked if I could go away for a few days to a nearby town and he said ‘yes’. During those days we saw rockets flying right above us and we hid from them. Then my uncle said we will leave for Za’atari. It’s safe here, even if home is better. Here we can go to sleep in peace and we never worry about attacks. Sometimes we hear fireworks and think we are being attacked again, but we’re just imagining it.”
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says some seven-thousand children have been killed in conflict in Syria and more than two-million children have been internally displaced.
The physical upheaval, fear, stress and trauma experienced by so many children account for just part of the human crisis.
Both agencies also highlight the threats to refugee children from child labor, early marriage and the potential for sexual exploitation and trafficking.
More than three-thousand-five-hundred children in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have crossed Syria’s borders either unaccompanied or separated from their families.
Sky, sky is full of soaring birds Gliding along with quaking wings Shooting up the sky in search of freedom Heart, thousands of hearts are broken All the miseries today Seem like truth has disappeared from the earth
權力與擁有的鬥爭 愚昧與偏見的爭鬥 若這裡戰爭到最後怎會是和平
Battles between power and possession Fights between ignorance and prejudice If wars never end, how can peace be possible
A supporter of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi holds his children tight as Egyptian security forces move in to disperse pro-Islamist protesters by force in a huge camp in Cairo’s Al-Nahda square on August 14.
Footage of victims in suspected Syrian chemical attack – Aug 23, 2013
Syrian children who fled their home take refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing last month in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town of Azaz. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)