Impact of Refugee Status on Syrian Refugee Children
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Syrian Refugee Children
Impact of Refugee Status on Syrian Refugee ChildrenKarthik Palaniappan
Background: Early ProtestsThe first major protests over corruption in Syria occurred in the southern city of Daraa in March 2011. They quickly spread to all of SyriaBy April 2011, the military started to quell the protests with brutal force.
Good Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War#Uprising_and_civil_warPicture: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/11/13/syrians-protest-arab-vote-gulf-embassies-stormed/2
Background: Violence and Civil War
Government forces have utterly destroyed entire neighborhoods controlled by rebel forces
By summer 2011, members of the military had defected to the protestors, and created the Free Syrian Army. The opposition was now armed. Violent clashes have killed over 100,000 people.
Good Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War#Uprising_and_civil_warSource: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/syria0114webwcover.pdfPicture [top]: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/another-canadian-man-dies-fighting-in-syria-1.1645133Picture [bottom]: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/2188/19/Who%E2%80%99s-fighting-in-Syria-.aspx3
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)9.3 million total Syrians have left their homes, Over 6 million are displaced within the countryThese are essentially refugees, but they do not fall under the legal definition of refugee
Definition: http://www.internal-displacement.org/idpFacts: http://www.state.gov/j/prm/releases/remarks/2014/219388.htm
Syrian Refugees outside the Middle East
Source: http://www.unhcr.org/5249282c6.pdf-The US has a cap of 70,000 refugees a year. The State Department said it will try to fulfill that cap again this year, but it did not specify how much on Syrian refugees. -31 refugees were admitted last year into the US out of 135,000 applicants because of immigration caps, and anti-terrorist laws. -The US has provided $1.3 billion in total aid throughout the crisis.^Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/05/us-syria-crisis-usa-refugees-idUSBREA141ZQ20140205Interesting Read on Europes failure to allow in refugees: http://www.whenyoudontexist.eu/content/assets/docs/An_International_Failure_-_The_Syrian_Refugee_Crisis.pdf5
Refugees in Neighboring Countries
Picture: Updated Nov 30th: http://www.mercycorps.org/articles/iraq-jordan-lebanon-syria/quick-facts-what-you-need-know-about-syrian-refugee-crisisStat: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php
Refugees Outside Camps80% of refugees in neighboring countries do not live in refugee camps. This is about 1.6 million peopleMany have found shelter in local communities and cities, especially with friends/family
Refugees in Camps: Zaatari
104,883 people (as of February 25th, 2014)
Who are the refugees?Of the over 2 million, the UN estimates over half are under 17 years oldOf this number, some 75% are under the age of 12
Changes in Child Roles
Child LaborAccording to the UN, 41,962 female-headed households in Jordan, and 36,622 in Lebanon3,700 children live without both parents40% of households report income coming from a child under 18
Source: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/unhcr-campaigns/childrensreport/Future-of-Syria-UNHCR-v13.pdfNote: these numbers are as of Sept 2013Note: Child labor is illegal in Jordan and Lebanon. However, families and employers tend to keep this secret because they depend on the money/laborGood quote: The savings, assets and possessions of most Syrian refugees were lost or destroyed. Their livelihoods came to an abrupt end, and their lives were essentially frozen.-Great examples on 38-39. Kids do fairly hard labor, especially the older ones to provide for the family. They are often recruited by smugglers and gangs to distract the police or provide manual labor. https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/unhcr-campaigns/childrensreport/Future-of-Syria-UNHCR-v13.pdf-Almost every article that addresses them tells the story of a child who dreams to become a doctor, pharmacist, etc11
Physical Health and Violence
Violence in Refugee CampsThere are near-daily anti-government demonstrations in Zaatari. Children are forced to avoid tear gas and violenceBoys fight to get enough food and water from aid workers. Riots often break outNine-year-olds are coming to the swings armed
Gender Based ViolenceGirls face the threat of sexual violence or even are forced into prostitution, but both are rarely reportedEarly marriages especially to older men are at a higher rate than in Syria.
-The early marriages problem seems out of proportion, as the UN Women report does note that it is fairly culturally accepted and practiced in Syria. However, the concern to me is that it is used to help the financial burdens of the family, and make the life of the child better. Thats a testament to how bad the economic conditions are.14
Malnutrition/DiseaseAcross [Lebanon], almost 2,000 Syrian refugee children under-five years of age are at risk of dying and need immediate treatment to survive.
Note: UN Nutritional Assessment gives Jordan a rating of poor, but I disagree:Child Malnutrition: is considered poor by WHO with about 5% with acute malnutrition and 1% with severe acute malnutrition: http://screencast.com/t/haVr5N4l5BzAcross [Lebanon], almost 2,000 Syrian refugee children under-five years of age are at risk of dying and need immediate treatment to survive. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_72726.htmlHealthcare: More than 75% in camps and outside had access to clinics and healthcareWater: Though most families (94%) have water, by surveys, it is still rated the biggest problem, as it is used from drinking, cooking, etc.Hygiene: 65% of families reported that they did not have Soap and/or Hygienic products in Zaatari. The report says better hygiene (mostly washing hands with soap and water) will drastically reduce health problems and diarrheaFood: More people have food in the camps/outside than in Syria during its drought in 2010: http://screencast.com/t/wmxwV161pCPa. Most people also have 2 or 3 meals a day with