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20 April 2016

Two-day old Mohammad is one of 1,500 internally displaced people living at the IOM-supported Herjaleh Collective Shelter in al Kisweh, Syria. Photo: IOM/Batoul Ibrahim 2016

Children of Syria By the Numbers

Syria - In more than five years of war, the fighting in Syria has left an estimated 470,000 dead, more than 1 million injured, and driven 11.3 million from their homes, writes Dan Nolan for PBS Frontline.

For the millions of children caught in the middle, the war has taken an especially painful toll. According to UNICEF, 8.4 million children – more than 80 percent of Syria’s child population – have been affected by the conflict, either in Syria or as refugees in neighboring countries.

In 2015 alone, the agency documented nearly 1,500 “grave violations” against children. The majority of these violations were cases of killing or maiming from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, the agency said.

Of the 6.5 million Syrians who’ve been internally displaced from their homes, an estimated 2.8 million are children. For many of these kids, poor nutrition and lack of access to healthcare have become life-threatening issues. As Save the Children noted in a 2014 report, “It is not just the bullets and the shells that are killing and maiming children. They are also dying from the lack of basic medical care.”

In a nation where countless hospitals and medical facilities have been destroyed, routine vaccination services are no longer available for one third of children under five. Deadly diseases like measles and meningitis are now back on the rise. Even polio, which was eradicated in Syria in 1995, is back, with as many as 80,000 children in Syria now thought to be carrying it.

Access to education has been similarly decimated. Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 4,000 attacks on schools have been recorded. Half of school-age children were not enrolled in school in the 2014–2015 school year, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.

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Migrants arrive by a Turkish boat near the village of Skala, on the Greek island of Lesbos, in November 2015. The Turkish boat owner delivered about 150 people to the Greek coast and tried to escape back to Turkey; he was arrested in Turkish waters. Photo: Sergey Ponomarev / The New York Times.

New York Times Wins Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography of Mediterranean Migrants

United States - The New York Times won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. Four Times photographers — Tyler Hicks, Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev and Daniel Etter — won the award for a searing collection of images of migrants seeking asylum in Europe, sharing the prize with the news agency Reuters.

To view a slide show of their extraordinary pictures click here

Migration in the News

  • Xinhua reported that according to IOM some 178,882 maritime migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe in 2016 and 737 have died attempting to do so.
  • DPA reported that UNHCR has sent a team to investigate unconfirmed claims of a major shipwreck in the Mediterranean in which 400 migrants may have died.
  • German media including FAZ, Tagesschau, Tagesspiegel, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Morgenpost and 1Live also reported the story.
  • Armen Press and Russian media reported that according to IOM’s Global Migration Trends 2015 Factsheet, Russia has the third largest number of migrants after the USA and Germany. 

Trending on the Internet

  • Independent UK reported that the German NGO “Refugees Welcome” is using online advertising to divert people searching for far-right political campaign websites into watching videos sympathetic to refugees.

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