The NGO Save the Children, in a report published on Thursday (23rd, Wednesday 22nd in Brazil), denounced the killing of 62 children this year in refugee camps in northeastern Syria, where families of foreign fighters from the Islamic State group live.
The organization describes the intolerable living conditions in the Al-Hol and Roj camps, which are under the control of Kurdish forces, and shelter for tens of thousands of displaced people, including some 40,000 children.
Since the beginning of the year, 62 children have died in al-Hol camp due to malnutrition, disease, health problems or fires, the NGO said, which is an average of two children per week. In addition, 73 people were killed, including two children.
Among the displaced are children of 60 different nationalities, according to Save the Children, which condemns the refusal of European countries, Australia and Canada to return the children of its citizens who joined ISIS.
The organization says: “It is more urgent than ever that foreign governments with citizens of Al-Hol and Rouge assume their responsibilities and repatriate their children and families.”
In al-Hol camp, only 40% of children receive a school education, according to NGO reports, while 55% of families in Roj say they know that children under the age of 11 work.
The report provides testimonies from some children, such as 11-year-old Maryam from Lebanon.
“I can’t stand this life any longer,” the girl said in May. “Everything is waiting.”
Save the Children criticizes the fact that France has 320 children in these camps, but has only returned 35. He adds that the UK has taken responsibility for only 4 of the 60 British children there.
“What we are seeing here is just the abandonment of children by governments, who are the first and most important victims of the conflict,” says Sonia Koch, Syria response director at Save the Children.
According to her, 83% of deportations took place in Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Kazakhstan and Russia.
The Kurdish authorities have repeatedly warned that they are unable to provide for all these families and are insistently demanding the repatriation of foreigners.
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