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Holy See diplomat laments plight of Syrian refugee children

March 30, 2015

Syrian refugee children risk becoming a “lost generation,” the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva said during a recent meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

Nearly half of the three million Syrian refugees are children, said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, and an estimated 3,500 of them lack documents. “A child below 11 years of age and without documents has no access even to the most basic services,” he said. “These children obviously cannot go to school and they are likely to be adopted illegally, recruited in an armed group, abused, exploited, or forced into prostitution.”

“Everywhere there is an urgent need for an education system that could absorb these children and bring some normalcy to their lives,” he added as he reflected upon the disruption of the refugee children’s education. “If the violence does not stop and the normal pace of education and development is not resumed, these children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.”

 


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