Children abandoned by governments in Syrian refugees camps

Children in the refugee camp of Idlib, Syria Children in the refugee camp of Idlib, Syria Ahmed akacha via Pexels

23 September 2021

Thousands of children are suffering amid widespread violence and threats in refugee camps in northeastern Syria.

Save the Children recently published a report on the living conditions in the al-Hol and Roj camps, located in north-eastern Syria; in it, the non-governmental Organization (NGO) describes the unbearable living conditions observed in the camps, which are controlled by Kurdish forces and are home to tens of thousands of displaced people, including some 40,000 children. 

According to the report, 62 children have died in al-Hol, mostly as a result of accidental fires due to having used stoves or heaters in their tents; many have also perished due to a lack of access  to clean water and sanitation facilities, malnutrition, as well as a barely functioning healthcare system, all of which resulting in deaths that could have been avoided. Futthermore, children have also fallen victim to acts of sexual violence and murder. Among those displaced in the camp are children of 60 different nationalities, and Save the Children has particularly denounced the refusals of European countries, Australia and Canada to repatriate the children of their citizens who unwillingly lived under or joined the Islamic State. Other NGOs, such as Doctors Without Borders, have also expressed concerns regarding the dangerous conditions found in the camps. 

The report also says that 83 percent of repatriations have been made by Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Kazakhstan and Russia; meanwhile, France has repatriated 35 children, leaving behind 320, and the United Kingdom has repatriated 4 out of  60 nationals. Save the Children and Kurdish forces  are calling upon all governments with citizens in the camps to take care of their nationals and in doing so, bring the children and their families home.


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by Dulce María Hernández Márquez

Edited by Maxime Grenier


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