3.7 Million Syrian Children Were Born During the Civil War — And Other Sobering Numbers

Source: AP
Source: AP

Since war broke out in Syria in 2011, 3.7 million Syrian children have been born. To put it differently, one-third of Syria's youth has never known peacetime at home.

That's according to UNICEF's "No Place for Children," a report released Monday that illustrates the uniquely devastating effect the Syrian civil war is wreaking on its children. And that 3.7 million is just one of the staggering figures revealed in the report.

These are some of the others:

8,400,000

An estimated 8.4 million Syrian children, or 80% of that population, have been affected by the conflict.

3,000,000

That's the rough estimate of children within Syria and the surrounding countries who are out of school as a consequence of the volatility. 

7

Children as young as 7 are being recruited as child soldiers — many of them, says UNICEF, without the consent of their parents. More than half of UNICEF's verified cases of recruited children were under 15.

"These children are receiving military training and participating in combat, or taking up life-threatening roles at the battle-front, including carrying and maintaining weapons, manning checkpoints and treating and evacuating the war wounded," reads the report. "Parties to the conflict are using children to kill, including as executioners or snipers."

1,500

In 2015, at least 1,500 Syrian children were victims to crimes against humanity. More than half of these cases involved children being killed or injured by explosives. In more than one-third of these instances, the kids were killed either during school or on their school commute.

A former rebel sniper plays soccer with a group of children in Aleppo Saif al-Dawla in northern Syria.
Source: 
Karam Al-Masri/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Save the Children published a similarly disturbing report.

Within Syria, restricting mobility and the delivery of aid in areas of the country blockaded by rebels has had devastating consequences for its the inhabitants — once again, children are paying a high price, some reduced to eating animal feed. 

"Sick children [are] dying while the medicine they need is on the other side of a checkpoint," reported Save the Children. "[These] children [are] forced to eat animal feed or leaves just a few kilometers from warehouses of food."

Read more: These Disturbing Drawings Come From Children in Nations Terrorized by ISIS

In January, one Madaya resident told the Telegraph some starving residents had resorted to eating cats and dogs.

However, some aid organizations remain hopeful that the situation is not beyond salvage, launching programs such as the No Lost Generation Initiative to protect the children, in part by securing an education. 

"It's not too late for Syria's children. They continue to have hope for a life of dignity and possibility," UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East, Peter Salama, said in a press release. "They still cherish dreams of peace and have the chance to fulfill them."  

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Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

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