Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Syria war: 2016 was the worst year for Syrian children, says Unicef

Syria war: 2016 was the worst year for Syrian children, says Unicef

Other aid groups, such as Save the Children, previously reported that millions of Syrian children could be living under a state of "toxic stress" due to the horrors of war, with fears that it could cause irreversible damage for an entire generation. The report comes as the conflict in Syria enters its sixth year.

Also, over 850 children were recruited as child soldiers, which is more than double the number in 2015.

"The depth of suffering is unprecedented". "Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down".

UNICEF is calling for worldwide action after releasing figures showing 2016 was the most violent year on record for children in Syria.

"Luckily, and thanks to the determination of the people of Syria - parents, fathers, mothers, teachers - thanks to the support of host governments, children are able to go back to school, they are able to resume their studies, catch up on what they've lost".

"Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being and future", Cappelaere said.

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The organization has only included verified cases and notes that numbers "understate" the dire state of children's suffering. Those recruited increasingly found themselves on the frontline, or in extreme cases used as executioners, suicide bombers or prison guards.

Education and medical treatment are becoming even more hard to access, and as a result, more families are turning to drastic measures for survival.

UNICEF warned that social and medical services are continuing to deteriorate, forcing many children into "child labor, early marriage, and combat". "There is so much more we can and should do to turn the tide for Syria's children". These jobs, either in agriculture, factories, or mechanics are low paying and often unsafe, UNICEF wrote.

"The most vulnerable among Syria's children are 2.8 million in hard-to-reach areas, including 280,000 living under siege where civilian movement, the flow of essential supplies and lifesaving humanitarian aid is heavily restricted".

As the war enters its seventh year, UNICEF is pushing for sustained access to all of the nearly six million children dependent on humanitarian aid. "Many have crossed frontlines just to sit for school exams".

UNICEF noted that it can not assess the "full scale of children's suffering" due to limited access to parts of Syria.

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