Beyond the tragic, tear-inducing images such as that of Omran Daqneesh, a shell-shocked, dust-covered Syrian boy who was pulled out of the rubble of his family’s home following an airstrike, there’s a harrowing statistic: nearly 50 million children under the age of 18 have been displaced due to issues including violence and poverty, as well as “other factors out of their control.” According to a new, disturbing report by UNICEF, about 28 million of these children are fleeing conflict, while an additional 20 million left their homes (some accompanied by family members, some alone) in search of better lives. At this point, one out of every 200 children globally are refugees or migrants, but certain countries account for much higher proportions of these child refugees. 45% of all child refugees came from Syria and Afghanistan. More than half of all refugees are children, and some families are having to make the indescribably difficult decision about whether to try and stay the course in unsafe conditions together, to leave their homes with their children and face arduous journeys towards asylum, or to send their children alone or with friends or relatives towards uncertain futures. Once children have fled their unfortunate situations, they still face additional challenges including discrimination, educational disadvantages including lack of access to schools, and risk of trafficking or other abuse. In response to this mounting global issue, UNICEF is calling for governments to actively protect displaced children and their families and to provide services including health care and education.

via CNN

Image © Photoman29 via Shutterstock