Three years of bloody conflict, violence and mass displacement have taken a dramatic toll on Syria’s children a new report by World Vision has found.
The report Our Uncertain Future has given a voice to the children of Syria, detailing in their own words their fears, daily challenges and hopes for the future. It found that 86% of Syrian refugee children interviewed have been exposed to violence.
World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said it is to the world’s shame children are bearing the brunt of Syria’s civil war.
“Three years of violence has taken a catastrophic toll on the more than 5.5 million children in Syria and across the region,” Mr Costello said.
“They have been exposed to horrific violence, separated from loved ones and face a daily struggle to survive. Many children are forced to work long hours in back-breaking labour or beg on the streets to support their families.”
More than 10,000 children have already lost their lives in the conflict and the futures of millions of Syrian children are at significant risk.
“On behalf of Syrian children we call on the international community to push for all parties to the conflict to put an end to the bloodshed,” Mr Costello said.
This Saturday marks three years since the conflict in Syria erupted. The violence has claimed over 100,000 lives, turning the lives of 22 million Syrians upside down. Over 9.3 million people inside Syria desperately need life-saving assistance, almost half of them children.
Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are shouldering the burden of the world’s latest and largest refugee crisis as more than 2.5 million Syrians flee their war-torn homeland and are now living in crowded tents, shelters and rooms.
World Vision Australia’s Head of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Anthea Spinks said World Vision asked 140 Syrian refugee children aged between 10 and 17 years old to take part in the report.
“Syrian children told us that they want to wipe away the tears and pain of their fellow refugees.”
World Vision is assisting vulnerable Syrians affected by the crisis in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria - working to assist with food, education, water, sanitation, health and child protection.
World Vision will join other NGOs at a vigil to stand #WithSyria at 7.30pm, Friday 14 March, Federation Square in Melbourne, www.with-syria.org.
World Vision Australia’s Syrian Refugee Crisis Response: 13 32 40 or www.worldvision.com.au
Media contact: Gabrielle Brophy, 0407 575 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org