Syrian Children Forced to Work 10-Hour Days in Lebanon

A young Syrian refugee begs on in Beirut, Lebanon A young Syrian refugee begs on in Beirut, Lebanon Michael Downey BBC News

10 January 2017
A survey by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) found that over two thirds of Syrian refugee children work on the streets in Lebanon six days per week to make money for their families

According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an estimated 1,500 Syrian refugee children are working 10-hour days on the streets of Lebanon to help their families afford food and rent. Between six and ten years of age, the children sell CDs, flowers, gum and packs of tissues. Some of those questioned said they experienced some form of violence while working on the street, most commonly physical violence, verbal abuse and sexual harassment. In Beirut, nearly a third (28 percent) are involved in begging for handouts.

“Children working on the street is the most visible sign of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon. Street work is extremely hard for children, involves punishingly long hours, and robs them of the chance to enjoy a normal childhood,” said Sarah Sannouh, the IRC’s Street and Working Children Program Manager in Lebanon.

Lebanon is currently hosting 1.1 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are children. Getting children back to school is a top priority in Lebanon.

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