Save the Children have got a campaign going on called Stop the Crimes Against Syria’s Children.
Syrian children are being badly traumatised after witnessing killings, torture and other atrocities in the country’s conflict, Save the Children has warned today.
Shocking testimony collected from refugees in Save the Children projects has revealed that children have been the targets of brutal attacks, seen the deaths of parents, siblings and other children, and have witnessed and experienced tortured.
Save the Children is working to help children come to terms with the devastating psychological impact of their experiences, providing specialist support to children showing signs of distress, including self-harm, nightmares and bedwetting.
The aid agency is also calling for the UN to step up its documentation of all violations of children’s rights in Syria and that it should have more resources to do this, so that crimes against children are not committed with impunity.
The charity is today releasing Untold Atrocities, a collection of first-hand accounts of the conflict from children and parents receiving help from Save the Children after fleeing Syria. The accounts contain graphic details of how children have been caught up in Syria’s war – witnessing massacres and in some cases, experiencing torture.
• “Dead bodies along with injured people were scattered all over the ground. I found body parts all over each other. Dogs were eating the dead bodies for two days after the massacre.” Hassan, 14
• “This six year old boy was tortured more than anyone else in that room. He only survived for three days and then he simply died.” Wael, 16
• “They hung me from the ceiling by my wrists, with my feet off the ground. Then I was beaten.” Khalid, 15.
• “There was nothing that they did not use to hurt us.” Nur, 9.
Save the Children has been refused permission to access Syria to help more children, but much of the children’s testimony corroborates violations documented by the United Nations and human rights organisations in recent months.
The aid agency is providing specialist help to children to recover from their experiences. Some have started self-harming as they struggle to come to terms with what they have been through, while others are suffering from nightmares, bedwetting, and depression.
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s chief executive has just returned from Jordan where he met children who have suffered horrific experiences. He said “No child should ever see the horrors being described on a daily basis to our staff on the ground – stories of torture, murder and terror. They need specialist emotional support to come to terms with these shocking experiences, and their stories need to be heard and documented so those responsible for these appalling crimes against children can be held to account.”
Save the Children is on the ground on Syria’s borders, providing emotional support to thousands of children who have fled to neighbouring countries, helping them recover from their experiences and rebuild their lives. The agency has launched an appeal to help fund its work in the region.
Please watch this video to see what is going on. It really is terrible.
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These children are depending on us.