UNICEF report says that Syrian children are at risk of exploitation
Syrian refugee children play in front of the ruins of the public baths of the ancient Byzantine-Christian city of Serjilla. (Image credit: AFP)
A new UNICEF report suggests that children fleeing Syria’s civil war are vulnerable to early marriage, violence and child labor according to Reuters.
Over one million children, some of them without friends or relatives have crossed into neighboring countries. Approximately 200,000 children are school age, but less than 80,000 are enrolled in school. UNICEF says that adolescents aged 14 to 17 who drop out of school are at maximum risk.
Their homes are also not always the safest places.
“There is a high level of domestic violence among communities, definitely because of the war situation, but also because of the protracted displacement and the sense of frustration that it brings,” Michele Servadei, UNICEF's deputy representative in Jordan.
An estimated 30,000 Syrian child refugees are working in Jordan. Many of the children work on farms often in hard labor, while others work in family bakeries or as mechanics.
UNICEF is providing $45 per month for families who agree to remove a Syrian child from work and return him to school, according to Servadei.
In 2012, 18 percent of the registered marriages of Syrians in Jordan involved under-18-year-olds, up from 12 percent a year before.
Children are also at risk of being recruited by rebels looking for soldiers to fight President Bashar Al Assad’s regime.