Syria’s children do not want to return to their home country, new report confirms
A new report by the Save the Children charity highlights that, after a decade of war in Syria, many children who have fled the conflict do not want to return to the country.
It’s been ten years since nationwide protests descended into an all-out conflict in Syria, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions of children and their families.
But what is the future for those children who have been uprooted from their homes in the last decade?
According to a new report issued on Tuesday by the charity Save the Children, “the vast majority of Syria’s children cannot imagine a future in their country.”
No wish to return
The findings show that 86% of Syrian refugee children surveyed in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Netherlands said they would not want to return to their country of origin.
In the report entitled Anywhere but Syria, of the children displaced inside the country, “one in three would rather be living in another country.”
However, although many of these children don’t want to return home, they are now struggling to feel safe in the countries they fled. The report highlights around two in five of those surveyed said they “face discrimination and a lack of education.” In another distressing response, many feel they have no say over their future.
Nada, aged 17, was born in Syria with a disability that affects her nervous system. She currently lives in Akkar, in northern Lebanon.
She told Save the Children that her dream is to become a doctor, but she lacks education. “There’s no safety; I can’t even go to school. My dream is to go to school and be just like my siblings,” she said.
Living in poverty
The findings reveal that even before the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, 80% of people in Syria had been living below the international poverty line.
Unfortunately, these stories of hardship are not unique to Syria. In Lebanon, a country that has been grappling with an economic crisis, political instability, Covid-19 outbreaks, and the impact of last year’s explosion in Beirut — “nine out of ten Syrian refugee families are living in extreme poverty, according to the UN.”
However, by contrast, the report shows that in the Netherlands, “70% of Syrian children saw a positive future, and all children surveyed received an education.”
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