Children wait for rescue in the hugely overcrowded refugee camps of North Eastern Syria as winter and warring factions arrive on their doorstep.
Thousands of children have spent their whole lives in a warzone. They are suffering mal nourishment, disease, limited access to water and untreated post-traumatic stress disorder. Many are injured and need urgent medical care while 300 children have already died in, or on route to, the camps.
60 of these children, almost all under 12, are born to UK nationals. The UK government can rescue them from this peril and bring them home to the UK now. The Foreign Office has proved that it is possible to achieve this goal with the recent repatriation of 3 orphans however most children are with their mothers.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 20 (1) states
…a child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State.
IOHR is calling for the UK government to change all these young lives and act now:
Bring UK children home from Syrian refugee camps now.
Provide clarity on how relatives can apply to become legal guardians if it is in the best interest of an orphan.
For accompanied children, be sensitive to what is best for their needs and bring their mothers with them.
Ensure there is effective psychological support for children and rehabilitation capabilities for their mothers.
To be part of a taskforce to evacuate as many foreign children as possible to alleviate some of the suffering of the Syrians unable to leave the country.
Save the Children – “these are innocent kids who are traumatised. They need care and a safe environment to recover their lives.”