Unaccompanied Syrian children seek refuge across borders

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A young new arrival at Jordan’s Za’tari camp. His family fled violence in Syria’s Daraa governorate.

The Syrian crisis is pushing hundreds of unaccompanied children into refugee camps in neighbouring countries, according to United Nations humanitarian agencies.

Children received by the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) at the Za'atri refugee camp in Jordan report that their parents have either died or are staying behind in Syria to look after relatives.

UNHCR fears the number of unaccompanied children could get bigger as the conflict continues.

Patrick McCormick from the UN Children's agency UNICEF says child safe areas are being created in the refugee camps to house the unaccompanied children.

"We have a programme in place to try and find and reunite these children with their families if they are still alive with extended families, with cousins or whoever is closest to them. In the meantime we set up what we call child-friendly spaces where these children are protected. The best way for them to survive this period is to be in a safe place where there are things they can do while they wait and hope that we can find their parents, relatives or families and a lot depends also on the age of these unaccompanied children how much they can cope with the situation."

Duration: 46″

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December 2017
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