Why leave home?
I held an atlas in my lap
A young girl walks along a drainage channel in the Protection of Civilians camp in Bentiu, South Sudan, in October 2016, during a period when intensified fighting between rebel and government soldiers spurred thousands of people to flee from Leer to Bentiu.
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
The refugee and migrant crises track the stress lines of today’s world. Societies and countries face fractures caused by conflict and violence, poverty, climate change and demographic change, not to mention technology which downloads images of affluence into just about every home.
Children in conflicts: Fifteen new conflicts have broken out or reignited in the past five years, and the numbers of protracted emergencies – conflicts that have lasted for over five years – are also growing.
Today 1.5 billion people are living in a state of near permanent conflict or in zones of economic and social breakdown – the tide of refugees pouring into Europe from the Middle East is but one manifestation of this crisis. They flee the brutalities of civil war and gang-related violence, assault, rape, recruitment, disappearance and murder.
Not every child is born equal: Nearly half of the 700 million people living in extreme poverty are children and most live in rural areas. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for half of the global poor. Poverty is declining in all regions but it is becoming deeper and more entrenched in countries that are either conflict ridden or overly dependent on commodity exports. The number of young children from poor households is particularly pronounced in the lowest-income countries, where more than half of children under age 12 live in extreme poverty.
Children and demographic change: The demographic bulge in the developing world is another major driver of migration, both legal and illegal. A billion children will be living in Africa by 2050.
UNICEF research from West and Central Africa and the Horn of Africa identifies poverty and a lack of employment opportunities as the main reason that young people move. More than 75 percent of the migration is within Africa. Less than 20% of migrants journey outside the regions.
The forecast for children: The current El Niño demonstrates how climate change will create new migration dynamics. To date, it has put at risk 11 million children in East and Southern Africa, 3.5 million in Central and South America and 2.4 million in the Pacific. Added to this is a body of evidence which forecasts that climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of natural disasters and create even move imperatives to move.
In the coming decade, climate-change related events are projected to impact on 200 million children ― a tripling of current numbers. More children will denied their most basic rights and made even more vulnerable.
Most are concentrated in those countries that can least handle these challenges — and faced by those citizens and communities least able to survive them: the poorest, the most marginalized, and, everywhere, the children. Potentially each and every one of them could then be forced to move.
Put these outlines together and it means that up to half a billion children will bear an even heavier burden and become even more vulnerable as the clearest indicator of the interwoven, cross-border and multi-dimensional crises confronting us - creating the stress lines of today’s world.
Read more about UNICEF and children on the move:
Horn of Africa drought affecting Ethiopia
Ethiopia, 8 February 2017 – In 2017, an estimated 5.6 million Ethiopians will require emergency food aid; some 2.7 million children and pregnant and lactating mothers will require supplementary feeding; and some 9.1. million people will not have regular access to safe drinking water. Disease outbreaks will affect an estimated 4.4 million people.
360 degree look at malnutrition crisis in Niger
Niger, 7 February 2017 – UNICEF Niger brings us into the malnutrition crisis with a 360 degree look at the people working to save children’s lives.
Thousands of children out of school after classrooms hit by heavy shelling in eastern Ukraine
KYIV/GENEVA, 6 February 2017 – Thousands of children have been forced out of school in eastern Ukraine due to last week’s surge in fighting. At least five schools and two kindergartens have been damaged by heavy shelling and 11 other schools have had to close, according to humanitarian organisations supporting the emergency education response in Ukraine.
Children left vulnerable after heavy fighting in Ukraine
AVDIIVKA, Ukraine, 3 February 2017 – Following intense fighting over the last several days around the town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, more than 17,000 people – including 2,500 children – are facing freezing weather without any heating, electricity or water.
UNICEF concerned about serious violations of children’s rights in the northern part of Rakhine state reported in OHCHR report
YANGON, Myanmar, 3 February 2017 – UNICEF has just seen the report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and is very concerned about the reported serious violations of children’s rights in the northern part of Rakhine state.
Two refugees, generations apart, tell their story in new UNICEF film
NEW YORK, 3 February 2017 – A powerful new UNICEF film presenting the parallel stories of a young Syrian refugee and a World War II child refugee was released today as a stark illustration of the challenges that refugee children continue to face.
Deadliest winter for refugee and migrant children crossing the Central Mediterranean, says UNICEF
NEW YORK/GENEVA/BRUSSELS, 3 February, 2017 – A record number of refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean over the past three months, including an estimated 190 children, has prompted an urgent appeal from UNICEF to leaders of European Union member states meeting in Malta.
Nigeria crisis: Yakellu’s story
Muna Garage Camp, Borno State, Nigeria, 1 February 2017 – Yakellu tells her story of escape from Boko Haram. Now in an IDP camp, her children need medical care because they are malnourished.
A letter to my two cousins
1 February 2017 – A young blogger reflects on the long, harsh and traumatic journey of Somali migrants to Europe – a journey that claimed the life of his two cousins.
Heavy fighting in Ukraine leaves thousands of children cold, thirsty and out of school – UNICEF
KYIV/GENEVA, 1 February 2017 – Following intense fighting over the last two days around the town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, more than 17,000 people – including 2,500 children – are facing freezing weather without any heating, electricity or water.
Broken sanctuary: attacks on schools are assaults of children’s rights
MOE NYIN DISTRICT, Kachin State, Myanmar, 31 January 2017 – Kachin has been affected by conflict since 2011, following the collapse of a 17-year ceasefire. The recent violence has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of around 100,000 civilians, half of them children. Despite ongoing peace talks, a final deal has proved elusive and the fighting continues.
“One day, everything will return to normal”
KIRKUK, Iraq, 31 January 2017 – Abdulrahman and his family were displaced from Mosul. The children attend classes from INSAN, a UNICEF-supported organization.
“We need a collective response to protect women and girls”
Iraq, 30 January 2017 – The ongoing conflict has resulted in extreme gender-based violence against women and girls.
Turkey in the time of Syrian refugees
GAZIANTEP, Turkey, 26 January 2017 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth travels to the Turkish-Syrian border and speaks with Syrian refugees there.
Field of dreams: children in a Kachin camp hope for peace
KACHIN STATE, Myanmar, 26 January 2017 – Baum Myaw, 12, lives with her family at a camp for displaced people near Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State, Myanmar. Kachin has been affected by conflict since 2011, following the collapse of a 17-year ceasefire. The recent violence has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of around 100,000 civilians, including children.
Siba and Ruba: two sisters’ journey back to school
HASAKAH, Syrian Arab Republic, 23 January 2017 – Sisters Siba and Ruba and their family fled their home in the town of Shadadi south of Hasakah last year because of heavy fighting. With escalating violence, multiple displacements and restrictions imposed on education, both girls were unable to go to school for three years. With UNICEF’s support, they re-enrolled in school last September. Siba, 11, should be in Grade 5 and Ruba, 9, in Grade 3, they were both placed in Grade 1 due to the many years of education they had lost.
“No one can stop us”
DEBAGA CAMP, Iraq, 19 January 2017 – Students in Debaga Camp near Erbil, Iraq, are taking their exams.
A healthy start for babies born in displacement camps
DEBAGA CAMP, Iraq, 19 January 2017 – Nurses who fled conflict in Mosul help ensure that babies born in Debaga camp get a healthy start to life.
Children in crisis
31 January 2017 – Nearly 50 million children at risk as conflict and disaster engulf 48 countries. From Syria to Yemen and Iraq, from South Sudan to Nigeria, children are affected by relentless conflicts and displacement crises, as well as devastation wrought by natural disasters. To reach those in greatest need, US$3.3 billion is needed by UNICEF to assist 81 million people in 2017, including 48 million children in 48 countries across the globe.
In Yemen, conflict and poverty exacerbate child malnutrition
SANA'A, Yemen, 30 January 2017 – The ongoing conflict in Yemen has caused the country’s health system to crumble, leaving children vulnerable to food insecurity and disease. UNICEF is supporting the Al Sabayeen hospital in Yemen’s capital city to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
“Children deserve life”: 7-year-old Bana from Aleppo talks to Justin Forsyth
Turkey, 23 January 2017 – While visiting Turkey, UNICEF's Deputy Executive Director Justyin Forsyth met 7-year old Bana, a Syrian refugee whose Twitter account helped shed light on the plight of children trapped in conflict-stricken Aleppo.
Schools reopen in East Mosul as violence subsides
BAGHDAD, 24 January, 2017 – As fighting subsides in East Mosul, 30 schools reopened on Sunday with help from UNICEF, allowing over 16,000 children to resume their education.
Humanitarians fear for the 750,000 civilians in western Mosul
BAGHDAD, 24 January 2017 – 100 days after military operations to retake Mosul started, humanitarian partners are expressing deep concern about the plight of the estimated 750,000 civilians who are currently living in the western sections of the city where fighting is expected to start in coming weeks.
Syrian children forced to quit school, marry early to survive
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 23 January 2017 – In Lebanon, many Syrian refugee children have had their childhoods cut short. Some are forced to work so their family can have a steady income, while others are forced into early marriage for their own protection and to save money. Hear the story of Jomaa and Hadya, two childhood friends who are now living the lives of adults.
UNICEF launches interactive glimpse into Syrian children’s struggle for education
BEIRUT, 23 January 2017 – A new interactive documentary providing an intimate look into the lives of Syrian school-aged children living as refugees in Lebanon was launched by UNICEF today. #ImagineaSchool provides a first-hand account of the challenges Syrian refugees face in their struggle to access education.
Pursuing education in the face of the Syrian conflict: Manar’s story
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 20 January, 2017 – When Manar and her family left their house in the old city of Homs back in 2011, she left behind much more than her belongings. As violence escalated in her neighbourhood, Manar, 12 years old at the time, had to leave her friends, her school and her sense of security.
Over 40 per cent of Syrian refugee children in Turkey missing out on education, despite massive increase in enrolment rates - UNICEF
NEW YORK/GAZIANTEP, Turkey, 19 January 2017 – Nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are currently enrolled in schools across Turkey. But despite a more than 50 per cent increase in enrolment since last June, over 40 per cent of children of school-going age – or 380,000 child refugees – are still missing out on an education, UNICEF said today.
The white rose of Syria
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 January 2016 – Singer Ansam, 10, performed at a first-ever ‘children’s musical concert’ in Damascus on UNICEF’s 70th anniversary. She and most of the other children in the choir have been displaced by the conflict.
Statement by UNICEF Director for Emergency Programmes Manuel Fontaine on the tragic loss of life in the Rann camp for displaced people, northeast Nigeria
NEW YORK, 17 January, 2017 – “UNICEF is deeply concerned by the loss of life in Tuesday’s tragic incident in Rann, Borno State. Our thoughts are with all those who were injured.
Joint Statement on Syria- WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, WHO, UNHCR
DAVOS, Switzerland, 16 January 2017 – While efforts to fully implement a ceasefire in Syria continue, we again appeal for immediate, unconditional, and safe access to reach the children and families who are still cut off from humanitarian aid across the country.
A Syrian family resettled in the UK shares their story
United Kingdom, 17 January 2017 – Salma, her husband and her three daughters, a Kurdish family from Qamishli, talk about how they had to flee the war in Syria.
Damage to water infrastructure for Damascus
WADI BARADA, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 January 2017 – When the water infrastructure supplying Damascus was damaged in December, 5.5 million people, including 2 million children, were cut off from running water.
In time of drought, Somali families forced to separate to stay alive
Somalia, 13 January 2017 – Sitting in front of her new home – a hut put up with dried branches and covered with rugs – Khadija Muuse, 70, sings about a family forced to be apart.
People taking shelter in Yambio
YAMBIO, South Sudan, 13 January 2017 – Around 4,000 people have taken shelter after fleeing their villages due to insecurity.
Severe drought kills animals and forces Somali families to flee
WAJAALE, Somalia, December 2016 – Displaced families are in urgent need of food, shelter and medications, and drinking contaminated water puts them at risk of diarrhoea, which can be fatal to children. In Somaliland and Puntland, UNICEF and WFP are responding jointly to the drought, providing food and water vouchers to about 76,000 people. UNICEF is also repairing boreholes for safe water and increasing health and nutrition services.
Number of unaccompanied or separated children arriving by sea to Italy doubles in 2016 – UNICEF
LAMPEDUSA, Italy, 13 January 2017 – Some 25,800 unaccompanied or separated children arrived to Italy by sea in 2016 – that’s more than double the 12,360 who arrived during the previous year. These children account for a staggering 91 per cent of all the 28,200 children who reached Italy’s shores in 2016 as refugees or migrants.
“The children have fun and forget what they have been through”
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 11 January 2017 – Florence Walikete, headmistress of a preschool that serves displaced children, explains why children – and the country’s future – need preschool.
Children suffer as taps run dry in Syria’s capital
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 11 January 2017 – An estimated 5.5 million people, including 2 million children, have been cut off from running water for over three weeks in Damascus and its surroundings, the longest cut Syria’s capital has seen.
“When we fled our home, we couldn’t bring anything with us”
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 10 January 2017 – We met 9 year-old Boushra while she was waiting next to a clothesline near her new home, a former warehouse now housing over 5,000 people displaced from eastern part of Aleppo. Boushra and her siblings were among 31,000 children who received winter clothes distributed by UNICEF in Aleppo.
Statement attributable to Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, on attacks near a school
SANA’A, Yemen, 10 January 2017 – One girl is confirmed dead and four others injured in two attacks near a school in the Nihm district outside the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
“I love education, and I want to make changes in the world”
KIRKUK, Iraq, 9 January 2017 – Nora, 6, was displaced from Mosul in 2014 and now lives with her family in Kirkuk. Conflict made her afraid to go to school, and she stopped attending classes until a visit from a social worker and several counseling sessions enabled her to enjoy her education once more.
Displaced in Yambio
YAMBIO, South Sudan, 9 January 2016 – Thousands of people have taken shelter in the grounds of primary school in Yambio after having fled insecurity in their villages. Humanitarian agencies, including UNICEF, are providing health and nutrition assistance as well as basic supplies such as mosquito nets, buckets and soap.
For one child, education is solution to Yemen violence
SA’ADA, Yemen, 5 January 2017 – The conflict in Yemen has resulted in more than two million children being out of school. UNICEF speaks to one child for whom education is not just a means to his dream job, but a way to prevent violence in the future.
2016 was the worst year for the #ChildrenOfSyria
Syrian Arab Republic, 5 January 2017 – Looking back at a turbulent and deadly year.
Syrians welcomed in Canada
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada, 3 January 2016 – Basel Alrashdan, 11, and his family were the first Syrian family to be resettled on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. The Canadian Government, which welcomes 300,000 immigrants every year — nearly one percent of its population — has resettled over 25,000 Syrian refugees nationwide.
10-year-old Ansam performing “I will return”
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 3 January 2017 – 10 year-old Ansam, born blind, performed at a first ever ‘children’s musical concert’ supported by our partner Awtar in Damascus on UNICEF’s 70th anniversary. Ansam’s family was displaced displaced by fighting from Harasta in Rural Damascus.
The photos that moved me most in 2016
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 1 January 2016 – UNICEF’s Baghdad-based photographer Wathiq Khuzaie shares the stories behind his most memorable images from a tumultous year in Iraq.
Fun relief for children in north-east Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, north-east Nigeria, 30 December 2016 – Children living in the Dalori camp in north-east Nigeria have seen violence and tragedy, but a day of fun activities gave them the opportunity to just be children.
Children displaced from east Aleppo: distressed, injured, alone
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 December 2016 – Since renewed fighting in east Aleppo on 24 November, at least 40,000 people have been displaced within and from the area. Half of them are children. UNICEF teams in Aleppo are working with partners to provide life-saving assistance for all children.
Children displaced from Aleppo
Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 December 2016 – For tens of thousands of children displaced or affected by conflict in Aleppo, winter worsens their plight.
“When I returned to my home, I thought it looked like paradise”
QAYYARAH, Iraq, 29 December 2016 – “When I returned to my home, I thought it looked like paradise,” says Tariq, beaming with happiness at the memory. “I was so happy to be back.”
The father of ten and his family are among the more than 1.3 million Iraqis displaced by violence since 2014 who have managed to return home.
“The schools are open and they’re going to learn!”
QAYYARAH, Iraq, 28 December 2016 – After missing years of school, children in Qayyarah are excited to finally be back in their classrooms.
In Baherka camp, Palestinians live in limbo
BAHERKA CAMP, Iraq, 26 December 2016 – Baherka displacement camp, on the outskirts of Erbil, is hosting nearly 4,000 people, most of them displaced just over two years ago when ISIL entered Mosul. Among them are several Palestinian families who have been homeless — and stateless — for much longer. “The difference between the Syrians and us is that Syrians can leave. They can eventually go home. Palestinians in Iraq don’t have anything,” says Taha. He and his wife Basima were both born in Iraq, him in Basra, and her in Baghdad, but they don’t have passports because their parents were refugees who came here in the late 1940s. “We don’t have any rights,” he says. “People say bad things about us. They think that because we’re Palestinians we’re terrorists.”
From Syria to Canada: 11-year-old Basel on his new life
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada, 25 December 2016 – 11-year-old Basel and his family were forced to flee their home in Syria. They now live in Canada - the family were one of the first Syrian refugees to be resettled on Prince Edward Island. Basel shares his experience of living in Canada and his memories of Syria.
Displaced children in South Sudan speak out
South Sudan, 23 December 2016 – The conflict that broke out in 2013 continues to devastate lives of children in South Sudan. UNICEF and partners are responding to the needs of women and children across the country.
Syrian refugee Mustafa, 14, one year on
Germany, 22 December 2016 –Earlier this year, we introduced the world to Mustafa, a Syrian child who faced horrors no child should ever experience. We turned his story into a powerful animation as part of our Unfairy Tales series.
Displaced from East Aleppo
Syrian Arab Republic, 20 December 2016 – At least 40,000 people were displaced from East Aleppo recently. UNICEF is on the ground to provide immediate lifesaving support.
Winter is the latest threat to children living on the brink across the Middle East
AMMAN, 20 December 2016 – Unseasonably cold temperatures and winter weather are sweeping across the Middle East, threatening millions of children affected by crisis in the region. UNICEF is facing a $38 million funding gap as it races to provide life-saving assistance – including warm clothing, blankets and winter supplies - to children and families as the cold settles in.
From shoemaker to student: Aleppo teenager goes back to school
TARTOUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 19 December 2016 – Forced to flee fighting seven times in five years, 14-year-old Wahid from Aleppo has lost out on years of education. To support his family he left school to work as a shoemaker, but a UNICEF education bursary means he can now afford to get back to his studies.
Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, on the evacuation of children from an orphanage in East Aleppo
AMMAN, 19 December 2016 – "This morning, all 47 children trapped in an orphanage in east Aleppo were evacuated to safety, with some in critical condition from injuries and dehydration."
Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, on children trapped in Aleppo
NEW YORK, 16 December 2016 – “More than 2,700 children have been evacuated from east Aleppo in the past 24 hours, including some who were sick, wounded or without their parents.
Born amidst fighting in Aleppo
JIBREEN, Syrian Arab Republic, 16 December 2016 – Hala, 3 months old, is living with her mother and older sister in a shelter for displaced families. “Hala was born during the worst times for our family,” says her mother, who was relieved to have fled the fighting in eastern Aleppo, but worried about Hala’s safety.
Rise in child recruitment as conflict in South Sudan enters fourth year
JUBA, South Sudan, 15 December 2016 – Three years after fighting first erupted in South Sudan, children continue to be recruited by armed forces and armed groups, with 1,300 children recruited in 2016, UNICEF said. This brings to more than 17,000 the total number of children used in the conflict since 2013.
South Sudan’s malnutrition crisis
AWEIL, South Sudan, 14 December 2016 – In the world’s youngest country, more than 360,000 children are estimated to be severely malnourished.
400,000 children in north-east Nigeria at risk of severe acute malnutrition
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 13 December 2016 – UNICEF estimates that 400,000 children in north-east Nigeria will suffer severe acute malnutrition this year. Without treatment, approximately one in five of those children – more than 75,000 – is likely to die. The story of seven-month-old Umara shows what is possible.
Statement by Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, on the situation of children in Nigeria
NEW YORK, 13 December 2016 – "The violent conflict in northeast Nigeria has left children severely malnourished and at risk of death."
Statement attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director, on the children of Aleppo
AMMAN, 13 December 2016 – “As violence continues to escalate in Aleppo today, thousands of children are suffering in silence, and coming under brutal attack as the world watches.
Winter is the latest threat to children in conflict-ridden Aleppo
ALEPPO/DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 12 December 2016 – As people continue to flee the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, UNICEF is working to reach displaced families with the supplies they need to survive the brutal winter. Some children have lost or become separated from their families, leaving them even more vulnerable.
Malnutrition amongst children in Yemen at an all-time high, warns UNICEF
SANA’A, 12 December 2016 – Nearly 2.2 million children in Yemen are acutely malnourished and require urgent care. At least 462,000 children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), a drastic increase of almost 200 per cent since 2014. An additional 1.7 million children suffer from Moderate Acute Malnutrition.
Across the Middle East and North Africa, conflict threatens decades of progress for children
AMMAN, 11 December 2016 – Nearly one in five children across the Middle East and North Africa is in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, according to UNICEF.
UNICEF UK response to Home Office announcement on completion of Calais children assessments
LONDON, 11 December 2016 - Statement by Mike Penrose, UNICEF UK’s Executive Director: “Bringing 750 children to safety in the UK over the last 6 weeks is a real achievement That progress is worth celebrating but we must be clear the job is not finished."
Nearly a quarter of the world’s children live in conflict or disaster-stricken countries: UNICEF
NEW YORK, 9 December 2016 – An estimated 535 million children – nearly one in four – live in countries affected by conflict or disaster, often without access to medical care, quality education, proper nutrition and protection, UNICEF said today.
From Boko Haram captive to children’s teacher: Femi’s inspiring story
BORNO STATE, Nigeria, 7 December 2016 – When Femi travelled to north-east Nigeria to visit his ailing father, he never imagined he’d be kidnapped and held captive for months on end. Hear his story of survival.
Living in one of the world’s scariest neighbourhoods
Syrian Arab Republic, 7 December 2016 – A young blogger writes about living in a conflict-ridden city in Syria. Every day, he tries to make the trip to university and to get food and water for his mother and sisters. “Getting bread on the table is hard, getting electricity and water is hard, but most importantly, the essential sensation of feeling safe is never there anymore. Fear runs my and my family’s life.”
Statement by UNICEF Syria Representative, Hanaa Singer, on the deteriorating situation for children in Aleppo and across the country
ALEPPO/DAMASCUS, 7 December 2016 – "I have just travelled back from Aleppo where the situation continues to plummet to even greater lows. […] Even by Syrian standards, the recent bombardment and shelling have been the most intense in Aleppo. Some 31,500 people have been displaced from east Aleppo in just 10 days. According to some of the latest estimates at least 50% of displaced persons seem to be children.”
School “as vital as food and medicine” for children caught up in conflict and other emergencies: EU & UNICEF
BRUSSELS / NEW YORK, 6 December 2016 – Braving the consequences of war, natural disaster and other emergencies, nearly 2 million children in 20 countries around the world have been able to continue their schooling over the past four years as a result of a partnership between the European Commission's department for humanitarian aid and civil protection and UNICEF.
UN and EU exhibition on Syrian refugee crisis opens in Brussels – “Standing strong: Human faces of the Syrian crisis”
BRUSSELS, 6 December 2016 – The exhibition presents some photos by war photographer Sebastian Rich, who travelled to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey in October to meet with Syrian refugee children and families and give them a voice through the images. It also features drawings by Syrian refugee children from the three countries, giving insight into dreams, fears, thoughts and an unfiltered view of what war looks like through the eyes of a child.
Catching up with Judy
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 5 December 2016 – Continued bombardment has forced Judy, 9, and her family to leave their home in eastern Aleppo. “I miss some dear memories there,” she says. “I’m not happy. You can’t get used to a house that is not yours and is so bare.”
Manar’s family prepares for the winter in Za’atari Camp
ZA’ATARI CAMP, Jordan, 4 December 2016 – The family, from Dara’a, Syria, have been living in the camp for 5 years now. To prepare for winter, they queue up at the distribution centre to get the winterisation cash grant provided by UNICEF.
Living displaced and with a disability
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 4 December 2016 – 16 year-old Ayham, who lives with an intellectual disability, has been displaced several times as violence swept over Aleppo. With his mother and 2 siblings, he now lives in one room on the frontline of violent fighting.
Keeping warm in eastern Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 4 December 2016 – Three girls wrap themselves up in blankets to keep warm at a large warehouse in Jibreen, which hosts displaced families from the recent fighting in eastern Aleppo.
Feeding the future
Syrian Arab Republic, 1 December 2016 – In November 2016, nearly 6-years of conflict has had a devastating impact on education for Syrian children. Some 1.7 million children are out of school and attending class can be a matter of life or death when schools or nearby areas are hit. But children are determined to keep learning and many of the displaced are going to makeshift schools in basements, caves and old barns.
A new school for displaced children
SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq, 1 December 2016 – Hiyam, 8, has just started the second grade at newly built Al Batul school in Ashti displacement camp, which accommodates 1,200 students.
“I dream of Syria without a war so we can go home”
Turkey, 1 December 2016 – Darsy, 12, fled Kobani, Syria with her family and has been living in Turkey for 4 years. She misses Syria, and wants to become a surgeon so she can help those who are sick and hurt back home.
Statement by UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere to the Security Council on the Situation of Children in Syria
NEW YORK/AMMAN, 30 November 2016 – “As long as the violence continues, children in Syria will continue to suffer. UNICEF renews its call on all parties to lift the sieges across Syria, and to allow and facilitate immediate, unconditional and sustained humanitarian access to all areas across the country. We call upon the parties to uphold their obligations to protect children. These are our children. They are our future. They are in your hands.”
Almost half of Mosul’s children cut off from clean water as fighting intensifies - UNICEF
BAGHDAD, 30 November 2016 – Nearly 300,000 children in Mosul – almost half of all the children in the city – and their families have reportedly been cut off from access to clean water after a major water pipeline was destroyed amid the ongoing conflict.
UNICEF Ambassador Tom Hiddleston returns to South Sudan as the brutal conflict enters its fourth year
JUBA/LONDON, 30 NOVEMBER 2016 – UNICEF Ambassador Tom Hiddleston travelled to South Sudan last week to see how the brutal civil war continues to destroy the lives of vast numbers of children across the country.
Child rights agencies call on EU to put refugee and migrant children first
BRUSSELS, 29 November 2016 – European Union institutions and Member States must do more to protect refugee and migrant children, a statement signed by 78 agencies including Save the Children and UNICEF said today to mark the opening of the 10th European Forum on the Rights of the Child in Brussels.
Hiba’s story: Ten-Year-Old Syrian Refugee
GEVGELIJA, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 28 November 2016 – Syrian refugee Hiba, 10, attends a center in Macedonia where UNICEF provides children with education, activities, sanitation, and a child friendly space where they can play and learn.
“Without school, we will not have doctors, engineers or teachers”
HASSAN SHAM DISPLACEMENT CAMP, Iraq, 27 November 2016 – "The reason I came to teach the children here at the camp is because for two-and-a-half years, they have been without education, toys, or ways to express their feelings."
Half a million children live under siege in Syria
NEW YORK/AMMAN/DAMASCUS, 27 November 2016 – As violence continues to escalate across Syria, the number of children living under siege has doubled in less than one year. Nearly 500,000 children now live in 16 besieged areas across the country, almost completely cut off from sustained humanitarian aid and basic services.
Underground amusement park gives Syrian children chance to play
Syrian Arab Republic, 25 November 2016 – An underground amusement park complete with Ferris wheel, ball court and other games, offers Syrian children a sanctuary to play without fear of attack.
A safe haven for children
Syrian Arab Republic, 24 November 2016 – The Land of Childhood, a playground theme park created by linking a series of basements together, offers children — and their parents — the relative safety that they so desperately seek, just to play.
For women and girls who flee conflict: protection and opportunity!
GENEVA, 24 November 2016 - Over the past 18 months, 1.3 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe. For women and girls particularly, that journey is one of violence and trauma.
21 November 2016 – A young blogger writes about the fastest growing segment of the US population – immigrant children. She also considers the detention that takes away the basic human rights of many among them who are unaccompanied migrants, most from Central America.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake statement on ceasefire agreement in Yemen
NEW YORK, 19 November 2016 – “The ceasefire announced in Yemen offers new hope in a situation that is increasingly catastrophic for children.
Back to school after Boko Haram violence in Nigeria
Nigeria, 18 November 2016 – I used to feel like crying when I saw other children with uniforms and bags going to school," says 13-year-old Modu, after he was forced to leave his education behind when he fled Boko Haram violence. Now Modu has returned home, and is one of nearly 90,000 children across northeast Nigeria that UNICEF has helped get back to school.
Children at risk in the Central African Republic
Central African Republic, 17 November 2016 – “The country is a better place now, but this is still one of the world’s most dangerous countries for children,” says Christine Muhigana, UNICEF’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
Support and skills for refugee children in Lebanon
TYRE, Lebanon, 17 November 2016 – Since fleeing Aleppo, Moayad, 11, works the streets trying to make ends meet for his family. A programme brings psychosocial support and learning sessions right to him, to help him cope.
A bomb explodes, growing up in Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 November 2016 – Just as Judy tells us her fears, we hear a bomb. As bombing resumes in Aleppo, Syria, the fear of explosions for nine-year-old Judy and children like her is constant. In just a few months over 100 children have been killed in east Aleppo. No child should have to live in a state of fear.
Syrian families flee fighting in Raqqa area, as humanitarian needs increase
AIN ISSA/DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 17 November 2016 – As military operations scale up in the Raqqa area families are fleeing the violence. Humanitarian assistance to the area has been highly restricted for the past three years and children have suffered immensely. Winter is fast approaching and UNICEF is working to get clothing, blankets, food and clean water to the displaced children and their families.
Massive humanitarian needs one month since start of military operations to retake Mosul
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 17 November 2016 – Today marks one month of intensified military operations to retake the city of Mosul. With tens of thousands of families in newly retaken areas urgently requiring life-saving assistance, the humanitarian community in Iraq faces a massive scope of need. These latest developments further exacerbate a humanitarian crisis in a country where 10 million people already were in need of aid.
“For a pack of beer and a rooster”
Cameroon, 17 November 2016 – Refugee girls in Cameroon are at high risk of child marriage.
Displaced by fighting around Raqqa, Syria
RAQQA, Syrian Arab Republic, 16 November 2016 – Almost 7,000 people fled their homes in villages around rural Raqqa over the past week to escape the fighting. UNICEF and partners estimate that around 175,000 children could be affected by the violence. UNICEF is pre-positioning supplies in various locations to provide critical support for displaced children and their families.
Central African Republic: Nearly one in five children is a refugee or internally displaced
BANGUI/DAKAR, 15 November 2016 – As the fragile recovery continues, more than 850,000 people in Central African Republic – half of them children – are still on the move, either internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries.
Water cuts add to the daily challenge of survival for Aleppo’s children
ALEPPO/DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 November 2016 – Water cuts and attacks on pumping stations regularly deny water to the people of Aleppo. For eight-year-old Huda and her family, collecting water has become a greater challenge with each passing year of the Syrian conflict.
“We can’t go home, so we need to send our children to school.”
HASANSHAM CAMP, Iraq, 13 November 2016 – Internally displaced families in Hasansham camp, Iraq, live in difficult conditions, but their overriding concern is their children’s learning.
Iraqi families flee Mosul, seeking refuge across the Syrian border
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 7 November 2016 – Children and families living in and near the northern Iraq city of Mosul have endured years of violence and suffering. Some of these families have sought refuge at Al Hol camp in the Syrian Arab Republic, where UNICEF has begun interventions in WASH, education and child protection.
Statement attributable to Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria on the killings of children at a kindergarten in Harasta, Rural Damascus
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 November 2016 – “A kindergarten was reportedly hit in an attack today in the town of Harasta, in Rural Damascus, a few kilometres from the capital, killing at least four children and injuring many more.
Statement attributable to Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq on the children of Mosul
ERBIL, Iraq, 4 November 2016 – An estimated 2,500 children and their families have arrived in the past 24 hours at camps south east of Mosul as Iraqi forces today for the first time entered the city streets and intensified their battle to retake Mosul.
Children and pregnant women among those lost at sea in latest tragedy on the Mediterranean – UNICEF
LAMPEDUSA, Italy, 3 November 2016 – A number of children and pregnant women were among the 240 people reported to have drowned off the coast of Libya Wednesday attempting to reach European shores.
9,700 children displaced since start of Mosul operation – UNICEF
BAGHDAD/NEW YORK, 3 November 2016 – Some 20,700 people have been displaced since the operation to retake Mosul started on 17 October. UNICEF estimates that 9,700 of them are children in urgent need of assistance.
School in a cave gives Syrian children a safe learning environment
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 1 November 2016 – Since the conflict began in 2011, there have been more than 4,000 attacks on schools. In the northern governorate of Idleb, two former teachers have transformed a deserted cave into a classroom, so students can get an education in a safe place.
All they need is a moment to be children again
JARMANA, Syrian Arab Republic, 31 October 2016 – In a center in Jarmana, on the outskirts of Damascus, children who left their homes to flee the ongoing war find a moment to be children again.
Latest from Mosul: Rolling updates from UNICEF Iraq
MOSUL, Iraq, 30 October 2016 – More than half a million children are at extreme risk in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. As the campaign to retake it continues, children and families could be forced to flee or become trapped between the fighting lines. UNICEF is working around the clock to support children fleeing Mosul.
Inspiring young rapper speaks out for refugees in Iraq
HARSHAM IDP CAMP, Iraq, 28 October 2016 – Laith, 17, raps about his experiences and his hope for the future. His mother died some time ago and his father was killed in front of his eyes when he was about 6. He fled Mosul and tried to reach Europe, but the boat capsized in Turkish waters, and he was taken back to Iraq, where he was jailed, interrogated and beaten. He now lives with his grandmother in the Harsham IDP camp in Erbil, Iraq, where he helps out at the UNICEF child-friendly space.
Mosul refugees fleeing to Syria’s Al Hol
AL HOL, Syrian Arab Republic, 26 October 2016 – Following the on-going hostilities in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, more than 900 people including children arrived in Syria during previous weeks seeking refuge at Al Hol camp, 14 kilometers from the Iraqi border in Syria’s north-eastern Hasakeh Governorate.
Lebanon’s efforts matter
26 October 2016 – Lebanon has more refugees per capita than any other country – 1 in 5 people is a refugee, and the Syrian crisis has had a profound, multidimensional impact on the country. The government has made a huge effort to support refugees, yet the country’s efforts are largely undiscussed around the world.
Displaced children in Iraq tell their stories
DEBAGA CAMP, Iraq, 26 October 2016 – Violence and insecurity in northern Iraq have caused displacement throughout the region. Hear from the children living in Debaga Camp, whose lives have been upended.
145 children released by armed groups in South Sudan – UNICEF
PIBOR, South Sudan, 26 October 2016 – A total of 145 children were today released by armed groups in South Sudan, UNICEF has announced. This is the largest number of children freed since 2015, when 1,775 children were released in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
For children of Syria, education cannot wait
Syrian Arab Republic, 25 October 2016 – 1.7 million children in Syria remain out of school and 1 in 3 schools can no longer be used.
Time to invest Iraq’s wealth in its future
BASRA, Iraq, 25 October 2016 – Iraq can draw on its oil wealth and rich educational heritage to secure a future for its children, many of whom are currently impoverished and deprived of education.
Yearning for a better future in the Syrian Arab Republic
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 21 October 2016 – After two attacks on Syrian schools, children, teachers and parents search for the courage to move forward while grieving the loss of nine students.
Children in war-torn Syria risk their lives to go to school
DAMASCUS/ GENEVA, 21 October 2016 – With the start of the school year in Syria, over 1.7 million children remain out of school and another 1.3 million are at a risk of dropping out, according to new education data.
Meet the uprooted children and families of Borno State, Nigeria
BORNO STATE, Nigeria, 19 October 2016 – The epicentre of Nigeria’s crisis is in Borno State, where more than 1.4 million people have been displaced as a result of Boko Haram violence. Read the stories of some of the many people who have been affected by the crisis.
The situation of children in Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 19 October 2016 – “In Aleppo water is being used as a weapon of war,” says UNICEF Syria representative Hanna Singer, reporting on the situation for children in Aleppo and UNICEF’s work to protect families affected by the deadly conflict.
I have witnessed terrible things
Northeastern Nigeria, 18 October 2016 – ‘Aminata’, 17, tells the story of how she was taken by Boko Haram, forced to marry an insurgent – and then escaped after two years of captivity. She now lives in an IDP camp, and hopes to start a business someday.
Drama of new life and death for children on the move to Italy
Italy, 18 October 2016 – An Italian Coastguard vessel is the site of new hope – with two babies born to Eritrean migrant mothers – as well as tragedy, a Nigerian mother shattered by the drowning death of her two sons.
Record numbers of unaccompanied children arrive in Italy – UNICEF
ROME/ GENEVA, 18 October 2016 – Three newborn babies, two born on Italian Coastguard boats in the Central Mediterranean and one at port, are among the newest arrivals of refugee and migrant children in Italy, as numbers of children hit record levels, says UNICEF.
Keep children safe in Mosul operation, UNICEF says
BAGHDAD, Iraq, 17 October 2016 – More than half a million children and their families in Mosul will be at extreme risk in the coming weeks, UNICEF warned today as a military operation to retake the northern Iraqi city gets under way.
Mortar attack kills schoolchildren in Daraa
DARAA, Syrian Arab Republic, 16 October 2016 – Students were enjoying their sports class at That al-Netaqeen school in Daraa city, when a mortar hit the school yard, killing at least 5 students and injuring 15 others.
Humanitarian crisis looms in Mosul
MOSUL, Iraq, 16 October 2016 – As military forces advance towards Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, UNICEF is racing to aid hundreds of thousands of people who are expected to need help. It’s estimated that 1.2 to 1.5 million civilians remain in the city, and of the one million who could be displaced, approximately half are children. At least 200,000 people are expected to be displaced in the first two weeks of the operation, and UNICEF has plans to assist 784,000 people affected in, or leaving Mosul.
Sultana, 12, displaced in Yemen
Yemen, 13 October 2016 – “I’ll leave the camp and go to school. I love English. I’ll be a teacher,” says Sultana, 12, displaced from Hajja in war-torn Yemen.
UNICEF calls for greater attention to the plight of unaccompanied children on the move through Southeast Europe
ZAGREB/GENEVA, 13 October 2016 – Hundreds of unaccompanied children are still on the move through Southeast Europe despite official border closures, yet little is known of their fate, says UNICEF.
In eastern Aleppo, going to school is a challenge
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 October 2016 – Nine-year-old Judy is excited to return to school, but going to class is not always easy. Learn about the challenges she and other children in eastern Aleppo face, simply to get an education.
Statement attributable to Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria, on children killed in Aleppo
DAMASCUS, 14 October 2016 – “Yesterday’s attack near the Hatem Al Taai primary school in Aleppo city killed four children and injured three others. The children were on their way to school in the morning hours when mortars hit the area.
Going to school turns into a nightmare for Aleppo’s children
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 October 2016 – A mortar attack kills children on their way to school, while another hits a schoolyard.
Azraa, 15, catching up on her schooling
Syrian Arab Republic, 12 October 2016 – Azraa, 15, is from a remote town in rural Aleppo. After being displaced several times, she was forced to leave school. She lost two years of education but never lost hope. Last year, Azraa’s family returned back to their home, and Azraa signed up for a UNICEF self-learning programme designed to help out-of-school children to catch-up on their education.
Migrant and refugee children face higher rates of bullying
12 October 2016 – In a survey, Italian schoolchildren reported that 17.9 per cent of migrant and refugee children had been bullied, compared to 11.4 per cent of other children, and their classmates were more likely to justify the bullying. Anti-immigrant prejudice was found to play an important role in driving the bullying.
Statement on Calais camp attributed to UNICEF special coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant crisis in Europe Marie-Pierre Poirier
GENEVA, 12 October 2016 – The commitment by the UK and France to find urgent solutions for the hundreds of refugee and migrant children languishing in Calais could not come a minute too soon, said Marie Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe.
Statement attributable to Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative in Syria, on attack on a school in Daraa
DAMASCUS, 12 October 2016 – “UNICEF deplores yesterday’s attack on the “That al-Netaqeen” primary school in the city of Daraa, which killed five schoolchildren aged 4-16, and left 15 other children injured. The conflict in Syria has plummeted to such lows that children are now risking their lives just to attend school.
Displaced by fighting near Mosul
QAYARRAH, Iraq, 8 October 2016 – Shahad, 3, is staying with her family in a transitional displacement camp near Qayarrah. Conflict to the south and east of Mosul has already forced more than 213,000 people to flee their homes since May 2016. In the coming months, as many as 700,000 more people are likely to require shelter and other live-saving assistance.
Isra’a, displaced from Syria
Jordan, 7 October 2016 – “I love football but my dream is either to become a detective or an architect,” says Isra’a, 15, who is in 7th grade, having lost one year of schooling in Syria. After school she attends a UNICEF supported centre.
UNICEF urges more investment in meeting the basic needs of Afghanistan’s children
BRUSSELS, 7 October 2016 – UNICEF has welcomed the commitment made by donors attending this week’s Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, which promised the country more than US$ 15 billion in assistance over the coming four years.
Back to school in Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 5 October 2016 – In Aleppo, where, children return to school despite the violence, which reached unprecedented levels over the past two weeks. More than 30 schools in the city are currently out of service – damaged by fighting, used for military purposes or sheltering displaced families – while others are either damaged or overcrowded.
For nine-year-old Judy in the eastern part of Aleppo, going to school is a challenge
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 5 October 2016 – “I go to school every day except for the times when I hear the planes,” Judy, 9, explains. Her school was affected by the violence and bombing several times in the past years. Houses around the school were damaged, but every morning Judy would walk to school with her friends through the rubble.
I escaped Boko Haram. Now I help other children
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 30 September 2016 – “I was terrified, I was sure they’d kill me,” says Firdau, a brave 17-year-old who escaped Boko Haram and now volunteers with UNICEF to help displaced children at Nigeria's Maiduguri Displacement Camp.
Testimony from Madaya, Syria
MADAYA, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 September 2016 – A UN humanitarian supply mission finds starving people who are losing hope, as the siege of the town continues.
Germany, 26 September 2016 – A young blogger reflects on the way people in her German town treat her friends who are refugees – making assumptions about them on no basis other than their skin colour.
UNICEF welcomes historic day for children of Colombia
BOGOTÁ, 26 September 2016 – UNICEF welcomes today’s official signing of a final accord between the Government of Colombia and FARC-EP, the country’s largest armed opposition group, to end Colombia’s five-decade war and build sustainable and long-lasting peace.
What next for Nigeria’s children?
GWOZA, Nigeria, 22 September 2016 – With more areas across northeast Nigeria becoming accessible to humanitarian assistance, the true impact of this crisis is being revealed. There are now nearly a quarter of a million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno, a result of more than three years of violence that has devastated the area. For an estimated one million children who still can’t be reached, we can only imagine their fate.
Displaced children in Iraq draw pictures of peace
HARSHAM CAMP, Iraq, 21 September 2016 – On International Day of Peace, children in Harsham Camp share their drawings of peace.
The truths we ignored and the lies we believed
Germany, 20 September 2016 – Two young bloggers speak with a Syrian family that has taken refuge in Germany.
DPR Korea: clearer picture of devastation unfolding
MUSAN COUNTY, DPR Korea, 20 September 2016 – Over 24,000 people are now living in the open in Musan County, with their homes destroyed and struggling to access food and clean water. In some areas by the river entire homes, roads and train lines have been washed away, with little sign left behind that communities once lived here.
Families adrift in northern Iraq
DEBAGA CAMP, Iraq, 20 September 2016 – Residents of Iraq’s Debaga camp, whose population has swelled from 5,000 to 38,000 people in under 6 months, talk about fleeing their homes and the challenges of camp life.
Conversation with two youth advocates who were forced to flee their homes
NEW YORK, 20 September 2016 – At the United Nations General Assembly, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth speaks with youth advocates Natasha and Minahil, who were forced to flee their homes in Zimbabwe and Pakistan, respectively, and now live in Ireland.
Why are children risking their lives to leave Calais?
CALAIS, France, 20 September 2016 – Each week, there are 2,110 attempts by refugee children to cross from the Calais settlement – known as “the Jungle” – to the UK. To make these crossings, children stow into the back of trucks where they hide in refrigerator compartments or in amongst hazardous substances. They run across train tracks and roads. That children die as a result is almost inevitable.
A refugee girl in Jordan convinces her parents to let her go to school
Jordan, 19 September 2016 – The story of one girl in a refugee camp in Jordan who convinced her parents to not marry her off and let her go to school instead. Overall, the number of young girls getting married is rising, because their parents have lost everything and are so poor that they see no other option.
Unaccompanied child migrants: Q&A with UNICEF Honduras
Honduras, 14 September 2016 – A conversation with Hector Espinal, UNICEF Communication Specialist in Honduras, about the root causes of child migration, and what UNICEF is doing to help.
From deadly journey to missing her friends, Syrian girl’s life changes in 1 year
Germany, 8 September 2016 – In the first ‘Unfairy Tale’, Malak told us about nearly drowning on her way to Greece from Syria. A year later, she’s making friends and learning in her new school in Germany. She misses her friends back in Syria, though.
A journey through hunger
Far North of Cameroon, 8 September 2016 – The tragic journey of Dzam-Dzam and her two children, who walked for 7 days after escaping Boko Haram, who killed her husband. Her elder son died on the road.
A dangerous journey
Senegal, 8 September 2016 – ‘Oumar’, 17, is an unaccompanied migrant about to make the trek from Senegal, across the desert to Libya and then across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy, where he wants to work in IT so he can support his brother, his only surviving family.
Nearly 12 million children in Asia ‘uprooted’ – UNICEF
NEW YORK, BANGKOK, 7 September 2016 – Children leaving Asia by sea face among the most dangerous journeys in the world. The Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea journey is estimated to be 3 times as deadly as the Mediterranean routes into Europe, although fewer people attempt it. But the proportion of women and girls making the trip is increasing.
10-year-old Mirna fled from her hometown in Iraq in 2014
Iraq, 7 September 2016 – Mirna shows us her new life in a camp for displaced people and what she thinks our leaders should be doing to help children who’ve been forced from their homes.
Honduran teen on what it’s like to lose 5 friends to violence
Honduras, 7 September 2016 – “I was heartbroken. They were my friends. I loved them,” says Cynthia, 18, talking about five friends killed by the gang violence that, along with a lack of jobs, spurs young Hondurans to risk dangers like trafficking to flee the country.
In Greece, a family split apart by border closures in desperate bid to reunite
ATHENS, Greece, 06 September 2016 – After Sarah Alsabsabi’s family fled from Aleppo to Turkey in 2013, her father’s health started deteriorating. He journeyed on to Germany where he learned that he had kidney cancer. Now, Sarah and her family are desperately trying to reunite with their father, but after finally crossing the Aegean Sea, they have found themselves stranded once again.
“We are people just like you” – Mustapha, 14, one year later
HOF, Germany, 6 September 2016 – When he was 13, Mustafa survived a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean with his mother, which inspired ‘Unfairy Tales: Mustafa goes for a walk’. Now settled in Hof, Germany, he adjusts to a completely new life far from his father and sister, taking classes with other refugee children and quickly learning German. “The Germans ask me who I am and where I’m from. It’s their right to….I tell them we are people just like you.”
Nearly 50 million children “uprooted” worldwide – UNICEF
NEW YORK, 7 September 2016 – Across the globe, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted – 28 million of them driven from their homes by conflicts not of their making, and millions more migrating in the hope of finding a better, safer life. Often traumatized by the conflicts and violence they are fleeing, they face further dangers along the way, including the risk of drowning on sea crossings, malnourishment and dehydration, trafficking, kidnapping, rape and even murder. In countries they travel through and at their destinations, they often face xenophobia and discrimination. Read the new report.
Seeking asylum in Europe
Europe, 7 September 2016 – Having risked all to get to Europe, many refugee and migrant children encounter new obstacles on their path to asylum.
Assyrians: International ignorance is killing us
HASAKA, Syria/BEIRUT, Lebanon, 6 September 2016 – The massacre of Iraqi Assyrians at a church in Baghdad in 2010 inspires a young Assyrian blogger in Syria (displaced to Lebanon in 2014) to learn more about their plight.
#EmergencyLessons: Walking to school
HARSHAM CAMP, Iraq, 4 September 2016 ¬– Join Ali and Gaith on their walk to school, through Harsham IDP camp in Iraq. These boys never thought they would miss the simple act of walking to school.
Half a million children have risked exploitation as refugee and migrant crisis turns into big business for smugglers
GENEVA, 2 September 2016 – New figures reveal that around half a million refugee and migrant children on the move are believed to have turned to smugglers since January 2015, as delays and desperation drive them into the hands of criminals quick to exploit their vulnerability.
The fairytale family
SID, Serbia/BERLIN, Germany, 30 August 2016 – The Raslan family has been through a lot since leaving their wartorn home in Homs, Syria, and traveling to Berlin via Lebanon and Serbia. Amira and Khaled do everything in their power to secure childhoods and futures for their 3 children. “We protect them, so they can play.”
South Sudanese refugees settle in Uganda
ELEGU, Uganda, 30 August 2016 – Children board a truck to their new settlement at Elegu reception centre, Uganda.
Young, Honduran, and dreaming of a way out
Honduras, 29 August 2016 – Only 15, Nakisha takes care of her younger siblings but dreams of leaving Honduras to go to the US. Neighbourhood gang violence and recruitment make her fear for her brother and sister. “We’re told not to leave the house after 10pm because if you do and you get killed, then it's your fault, they'll say.” Nakisha and her mother attempted to escape once before but were sent back. For now, she waits for her mother’s return from Belize.
Displaced from Hasakeh
QAMISHLI, Syrian Arab Republic, 28 August 2016 – An estimated 63,000 people were uprooted from their homes due to the latest fighting around Hasakeh city, and are now staying in neighbouring towns.
Sebit and his two children, displaced from Wau
WAU, South Sudan, 27 August 2016 – Sebit and Theresa, 6, and Samuel, 3, fled their homes because of shooting. They were in the bush for 24 days, where they foraged for crops to survive. Now, they’re at a United Nations Protection of Civilians Site.
Nigeria’s hidden catastrophe
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 26 August 2016 – Boko Haram’s brutal campaign of terror is having a devastating impact on Nigeria’s children, but one that isn’t visible in some parts of the country.
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on the humanitarian pause in Aleppo, Syria
NEW YORK, 26 August 2016 – “Today is another sad and dangerous day for the children in Syria, in particular those living in Aleppo.”
Refugee and migrant children stuck in Greece face double crisis
ATHENS/GENEVA, 26 August 2016 – With the sudden increase of arrivals, hundreds more refugee and migrant children are becoming stranded in Greece with critical needs such as education and protection, says UNICEF.
How one train ride completely devastated this Honduran teen
OMOA, Honduras, 26 August 2016 – "The moment I woke up, I knew that everything was over." That is how Alexis describes the fateful train ride he took as a 16-year-old headed to the United States, hoping to overcome poverty and get an education. The dangerous journey cost him his leg and his dream of making it out of Honduras. Now also 16, his sister Jackie plans to make the same risky trek up North.
Boko Haram violence in Lake Chad region leaves children displaced and trapped
DAKAR, Senegal, 25 August 2016 – Years of violence by Boko Haram in Africa’s Lake Chad basin have led to a worsening humanitarian crisis that has displaced 1.4 million children and left at least one million still trapped in hard-to-reach areas, UNICEF said in a new report.
Khadija’s forced journey in Chad
DARESALAM CAMP, Chad, 24 August 2016 – Displaced by drought and conflict, Khadija, 15, has lived in 5 different places in the last 5 years – from northeastern Nigeria to Daresalam refugee camp in Chad, where she now lives. One day, she’d like to work in technology: “What I’ve learned is that with the internet, even if you don’t know something, somebody in the world has what you need.”
Alexis and the crisis of unaccompanied migrant children in Central America
Honduras, 23 August 2016 – A year and a half ago, Alexis (under the pseudonym 'Bryan') gave us his heartbreaking account of attempting to migrate to the United States from Honduras. Today, he shares an update on his story.
Miracles in Dzawandai
DZAWANDAI, Cameroon, 23 August 2016 – When Francois took in three girls who'd escaped from Boko Haram, he didn’t know his generosity would spark a miracle – the reunification of a mother and her children. See also video.
Risking it all to escape gang violence and poverty
NEW YORK, 23 August 2016 – Every month, thousands of children from Central America risk being kidnapped, trafficked, raped, or killed as they make their way to the United States to seek refuge from brutal gangs and stifling poverty. These vulnerable children, many of whom are travelling without an adult, need protection every step of the way. UNICEF’s new report, Broken Dreams: Central American children’s dangerous journey to the United States, details their harrowing journeys.
Education under fire: Schools in Aleppo damaged in renewed fighting
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 22 August 2016 – As fighting escalates in Aleppo, schools there have come under attack, are being occupied by fighters, and are left destroyed or damaged.
Building invisible bridges
TAGAL, Chad, 19 August 2016 – The people of the small village of Tagal, in the Lake Region of Chad, have done everything possible to accommodate refugees uprooted by Boko Haram – more than 8 out of 10 of whom live in host communities, not camps.
Weaving links for refugees
DARESALAM CAMP, Chad, 19 August 2016 – Jonathan, a tailor who fled his home in northeastern Nigeria under threat from Boko Haram, teaches young people in Daresalam refugee camp to sew – offering valuable skills, a respite from the troubles of the present and a chance to think about the future.
Danger, every step of the way
Chad, 18 August 2016 – Follow the perilous journey of refugee children in Africa’s Lake Chad Region and, through this photo essay, walk a virtual mile in their shoes.
Displaced children in Syria adjust to life in a camp
SWEIDA, Syrian Arab Republic, 18 August 2016 – A summer camp-turned-shelter hosts over 3,600 internally displaced people, half of them children. Some have been living in the camp for over 5 years; others have just arrived from active conflict areas.
How a Parisian football team is giving young migrants a new lease on life
PARIS, 17 August 2016 – Melting Passes is a football club made up of young migrants in Paris, who have come from countries such as Liberia and Guinea in search of better opportunities for education or work. Playing the game gives them an outlet while they wait for a change in their legal status.
Abdul Karim and his chicken coop
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 14 August 2016 – Abdul, 18, has been displaced more than once. Now, in Homs City, Syria, he and his friends built their own children coop to produce eggs, with support from a UNICEF-supported youth centre. They are developing their own small business. “Think hard about the possibilities. Use everything around you to the maximum of its potential,” he advises his peers around the world.
“I felt like I could go anywhere with my camera, even while physically I stayed at home.”
HOMS, Syrian Arab Republic, 12 August 2016 – Fighting in Syria displaced Modar, 15, and prevented him from going to school for two years. Often stuck inside during the fighting, he used an old video camera to watch what was going on outside. Now, he has just passed his Grade 9 exams and is releasing a short movie he made – about peace.
Taps run dry for 2 million people as fighting intensifies in Aleppo
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 9 August 2016 – Two million people in Aleppo are left with no access to running water through the public network, as escalation of attacks and fighting damaged electricity networks essential to pump water supplies throughout the city. (Also see video.)
Fleeing their homes amidst new wave of fighting
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 7 August 2016 – Late on 31 July, 25,000 people fled their homes in Aleppo due to a new wave of attacks and fighting.
Children in Aleppo threatened by new intense fighting and denial of life-saving aid
ALEPPO, Syrian Arab Republic, 02 August 2016 – A new wave of attacks in Aleppo has forced thousands of children and their families to flee their homes, while the eastern part of the city has been cut off from humanitarian aid for nearly a month. UNICEF is calling for immediate access to deliver urgently needed nutritional supplements, medicines, critical health supplies and clean water.
In Bangladesh, children bear the brunt of Cyclone Roanu
BHOLAIKANDI, Bangladesh, 26 July 2016 – On 21 May, Tropical Cyclone Roanu made landfall on the coast of southern Bangladesh, forcing half a million people to flee their homes. Twelve-year-old Swapna and her family are among the displaced. Together with their community, they are searching for remnants of their old lives while trying to piece together their future.
Syrian children’s courage for education offers hope amid grim realities
DAMASCUS, Syria, 25 July 2016 – Across the Syrian Arab Republic, children are putting their lives at risk to sit for their final exams in school. Hear the stories of six children who travelled across conflict lines to continue their education, in hopes of building a brighter future for their country.
Water in #Syria is being used as a weapon of war
25 July 2016 – With the help of European Commission - Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), UNICEF is able to develop 70 groundwater wells in Aleppo and reach over 2 million people with safe water in Syria.
Escaping violence in South Sudan: Lives uprooted, families torn apart
WAU, South Sudan, 06 July 2016 – Recent violence in South Sudan has displaced some 65,000 people in and around Wau town. Among them are many children who became separated from their parents as their families fled. Reunification is the goal, but first carers must be found for these unaccompanied children.
“We came with nothing, we have nothing”: Thousands flee Fallujah as fighting intensifies
BAGHDAD, 6 June 2016 – The UN and partners are in a race against time to provide life-saving assistance to people fleeing escalating violence in Anbar, particularly around the battle for Fallujah
Prolonged drought pushes Somali communities to the brink
Somalia, 26 April 2016 – After three straight years without rain threatened to kill off her livestock, Hawa Ali, a shepherd from Ethiopia, walked for 30 days to join other families from her village, who had already left for Awdal region, Somaliland.
A harrowing escape from Boko Haram in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 11 April 2016 – After breaking free from captivity in north-eastern Nigeria where Boko Haram had overtaken their village, Halima and her family embark on a courageous journey to safety.
Children carry the keys to the homes they fled, in Jebel Marra, Sudan
EBEL MARRA, Sudan, 22 March 2016 – From between the branches of a tree at the entrance to the tiny town of Sortoni pokes the face of a young boy. He wants to know my name. More importantly, he wants me to know his name.
What would you do to escape?
11 January 2016 – On assignment for UNICEF, I was documenting the experience of children and families as they migrated from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Allahyar, 13, was one of the boys from the car trunk; I asked why he left Afghanistan. “There is war there,” he told me.
Sharing cherished memories provides vital comfort for Syrian children
QAMISHLI, Syrian Arab Republic, 29 December 2015 – “He always bought us the best clothes and took us for walks in the gardens of Aleppo, where we’d have our lunch in the open air,” says Ghaithaa, 13.Water in #Syria is being used as a weapon of war.