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Number Of Child Refugees Fleeing Syria Reaches 1M, U.N. Reports

“The number of children among refugees who have fled Syria’s civil war has reached one million, the United Nations said” Friday, Bloomberg Businessweek reports (Yoon, 8/23). “Roughly half of all the nearly two million registered refugees from Syria are children, and some 740,000 of those are under the age of 11, according to the U.N. refugee and children’s agencies,” the Associated Press writes (Heilprin, 8/23). “Another two million Syrian minors are uprooted within their country and are often attacked or recruited as fighters in violation of humanitarian law, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said,” according to Reuters.

“‘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 traumatized, depressed and in need of a reason for hope,’ Antonio Guterres, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said in a statement,” the news service notes (Nebehay, 8/23). “The physical upheaval, fear, stress and trauma experienced by so many children account for just part of the human crisis,” a joint press release from the agencies states (8/23). “Besides the physical stress and trauma of leaving home, often in perilous circumstances, refugee children must [often] confront the threats from child labor, early marriage and the potential for sexual exploitation and trafficking,” The Guardian adds (Tran, 8/22).