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Children suffer trauma from Syrian war: UN rights experts

A UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] issued a 60-page multimedia report [materials] on Friday that Syrian refugee children are suffering trauma from the Syrian Civil War [JURIST backgrounder], which has killed over 120,000 people. The report states [press release] that many Syrian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon are growing up in broken families, lacking education and serving as a household's primary source of income. The report's researchers discovered children working long hours in dangerous conditions and almost half of the Syrian refugee households in Jordan relied at least in part on a child's income. In Jordan, more than half of the school-aged Syrian children are not in school, and in Lebanon, about 200,000 refugee children could be out of school through the end of the year. Seventy-seven percent of the refugee infants surveyed lacked a birth certificate, contributing to statelessness. There are more than 1.1 million Syrian refugee children.

The Syrian Civil War has been ongoing since 2011 when opposition groups first began protesting the regime of Assad. JURIST Guest Columnist Leslie Esbrook opined [JURIST op-ed] that an international war crimes prosecution would not end the ongoing conflict in Syria. The Egyptian government has detained more than 1,500 Syrian refugees and has forcibly deported some refugees back to Syria, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said [JURIST report] earlier this month. In September the UN called for [JURIST report] an end to weapons being supplied to both Syria's government and rebels. Rights groups accused [JURIST report] the Syrian government of responsibility for August 21 chemical weapon attacks, which allegedly involved the use of sarin nerve gas. Syria's main opposition group in August urged the UN [JURIST report] to probe numerous massacres they say were committed during Ramadan by forces loyal to Assad. JURIST Guest Columnist Paul Juzdan argues [JURIST op-ed] that even if the UN Security Council decides to intervene in Syria, unilateral intervention would violate international law; a dilemma which, as discussed by JURIST Guest Columnist Patricio Galella, exposes the weakness [JURIST op-ed] of of the UN system of collective security.

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