UN asks Countries to Repatriate Children from Syria

The United Nations counter terrorism chief have asked the countries to repatriate the 27,000 children who are stranded in massive camp in north-eastern Syria. Many of the children are sons and daughters of Islamic State extremists who controlled the large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

What are the concerns?

  • Horrific situation of the children in Al Hol (camp) is among the most pressing issues in the world today.
  • The 27,000 children are stranded and they stand abandoned to their fate.
  • They are also vulnerable to be preyed on by Islamic State enforcers.
  • Further, the children are at risk of radicalization within the camp.

Al Hol or al-Hawl refugee camp

  • It is the largest camp for refugees and displaced Syrians in the country. The camp is presently home to almost 62,000 residents.
  • More than 80% of the residents are women and children. They have fled to the camp after Islamic State militants lost their last Syrian stronghold in the year 2019 in the wake of Syrian Civil War.
  • The camp is situated at the southern outskirts of the town of al-Hawl in northern Syria. It is close to the Syria-Iraq border.
  • The camp holds the individuals displaced from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
  • This camp is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Syrian civil war

It is an ongoing multi-sided civil war in Syria. The war is fought between the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic which is led by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and various domestic and foreign forces who are opposing both the Syrian government and each other. This unrest in Syria was started on March 15, 2011 as part of the wider 2011 Arab Spring protests. This was escalated  because of the discontent with the Syrian government.

About Syria

  • Syria is a West-Asian Country. It has border with Lebanon in the southwest, Mediterranean Sea in the west, Turkey in the north, Iraq in the east, Jordan in the south while Israel in the southwest.
  • Syria is home to diverse ethnic groups such as Syrian Arabs, Turkemens, kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Circassians, Greeks and Mandeans and the religious groups such as Sunnis, Christians, Druze, Alawites, Salafis, Mandeans, Shiites and Yazidis.
  • Among all, the Arabs are largest ethnic group while the Sunnis are the largest religious group. The country is a member of United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. Syria got suspended from the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
  • The largest city of Syria is Aleppo followed by Damascus, Homs, Latakia and Hama.

History

The country was the centers of Neolithic culture or the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A in 10000 BC. It was the first country in the world where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time.

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