More Syrian children forced to work as turmoil sustains

Agencies claim increase in child labour among Syrian children as conflict drags on in war-torn nation

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Aid agencies warned on Thursday, that there is a rise in the number of Syrian child labourers, with some as young as six working in Lebanon.

Surveys were carried out by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children which provided data showing that Syrian refugee children are considered the breadwinners of their families in most cases, especially in countries like Jordan and Lebanon.

"Based on all of these's clear that child labor has increased substantially since the Syrian conflict began," UNICEF spokesperson Juliette Touma told Reuters.

The civil war in Syria has claimed the lives of over 200,000 people and displaced millions. It is considered one of the worst refugee crises by UN aid agencies.

Refugee children were compelled to work after leaving their war-torn nation behind. Some of them currently harvest potatoes, serve as waiters in shops and restaurants, or bake bread and fix shoes in Lebanon and Jordan.

Reports say the children face many hazards at their workplace on a daily basis.

More than 70 percent of children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan who were surveyed, said they suffer from health problems.

They are also paid quite scarcely by employers for their hard-work, earning only a few dollars per day.

The report revealed that employers in host countries prefer hiring children rather than adults as they cost less, and adults cannot obtain work permits with ease in most countries.

Since Syrian children are obliged to work in most cases, they do not have a chance to go to school.

The conflict is not getting any better, which indicates that there will possibly be a rise in Syrian child labour in the future.

Some aid organisations have announced that they will minimise their aid to Syrian refugees, as they face a lack of funding.

The World Food Programme announced on Wednesday that it will halve its food vouchers that it distributes to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and will most probably cut all help that it offered to the hundreds and thousands of Syrians in Jordan.

TRTWorld and agencies