1 millionth child refugee flees Syria: UN

2013-08-23 08:57
A Syrian-Kurdish children sitting on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp, 20 kilometres east of the of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (Safin Hamed, AFP)

A Syrian-Kurdish children sitting on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp, 20 kilometres east of the of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (Safin Hamed, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The number of children who have fled war-torn Syria hit one million on Friday, while two million kids have been displaced within their homeland's borders by the conflict, the UN said.

"This one millionth child refugee is not just another number. This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend," said the head of UN children's agency Unicef, Anthony Lake, said in a statement.

Children make up half of all refugees from more than two years of conflict in Syria, according to United Nations figures.

Most Syrian refugees have found a haven in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, but they are increasingly fleeing to North Africa and Europe.

The UN's most recent figures show that some 740 000 Syrian refugees are under the age of 11.

"What is at stake is nothing less than the survival and wellbeing of a generation of innocents," Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees.

"The youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family members and their futures. Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatised, depressed and in need of a reason for hope," he added.

Inside Syria, meanwhile, more than two million children have been driven from their homes in the face of the conflict, which has morphed into a vicious, sectarian civil war.

The UN says that more than 100 000 people have been killed, which started after a crackdown on protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad in March 2011

According to the UN's human rights division, some 7 000 of the dead were youngsters.

The UN also warned that refugee kids face the threat of child labour, early marriage and the potential for sexual exploitation and trafficking.

More than 3 500 children in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have crossed Syria's borders either unaccompanied or separated from their families, it added.

Aid agencies have scrambled to meet the needs of refugee children, for example by vaccinating hundreds of thousands against measles and providing schools in camps.

The UN's refugee agency has managed to register by name all one million kids who have fled the country, and also helps get birth certificates for refugees born in exile to ensure they do not become stateless.

Read more on:    un  |  unicef  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.