By World News Report Bureau
An increasing numbers of children are at risk in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Burundi, South Sudan and Nigerian. Those who are spared have to face natural disasters in Nepal.
All in all there is no place which you can call safe for children.
Here are some statistics:
- Over half of the world’s 38 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are children.
- Half of the world’s 16.7 million refugees are children.
- Over 825,000 children are trafficked each year
- 8.6 million are engaged as slaves
- About 168 million are child labourers
- Some 85 million children were engaged in hazardous work
- An estimated five million girls were married off before the age of 15 last year
What does all this boil down to?
“This is not the year of the child but the year of fear, with 2015 already the worst year since 1945 for children being displaced, the worst year for children becoming refugees, the worst year for children seeing their schools attacked,” said Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.
“We expect the figure to rise as in crisis zone after crisis zone even school age children who were once at school are being forced into child labour,” he said. “Today in some of the world’s most troubled spots it is open season for traffickers, with girls snatched from the streets in Nepal to adolescents forced into marriage in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.”
“Today in some of the world’s most troubled spots it is open season for traffickers, with girls snatched from the streets in Nepal to adolescents forced into marriage in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.” he lamented.
According to Brown children, are the biggest victims of disasters, crises and conflicts.
He particularly pointed out the horrific condition of young children in South Suda, and Syria where children are being conscripted as soldiers or Nepal, where gangs are trying to recruit the half a million girls with the intention to traffic them out of the country.”
“Nepalese State radio messages are confirming what we already know,” said the envoy.
According to him the best possible solution to all this is education.
“Not only does school offer opportunity and safety,” he said. “It restores hope that as children they can plan for a better future.”
He called on aid agencies and development partners to agree to a Global Humanitarian Fund for Education in Emergencies which he said could be launched later this year at the UN General Assembly, and which was designed to remove delays and prevarication when disasters strike.
“There will be the ability to act immediately and – as we would have wanted to see in Nepal, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan – without having to wait months while we hand round a begging bowl,” he said.
He pointed to a “bold plan” proposed by the UN alongside the Lebanese Government and international partners to get 500,000 Syrian children back into school through providing double shifts at a cost of just $500 per child.
“The evidence shows that when girls are at school, child marriage and child abuse are dramatically reduced,” he said.
“Sadly, only one per cent of the humanitarian budget goes to schooling.” he added.