A refugee child misses out on things your average kid takes for granted
Representational graphic of what you miss as a refugee child Photograph: (WION)
Imagine a child without any toys to play with, regular schooling or a daily dose of cartoons. Sounds like a disturbed childhood, right? This is the reality for about 14.4 million refugees (2014 UNHCR figures) in the world who lead a different life than an average kid living in their own homeland.
World Refugee Day is celebrated every year on June 20.
World Refugee Day (WION)
Living under difficult circumstances, refugees deal with several issues at hand. Displaced from their place of belonging here is a list of things that refugee kids miss out on a daily basis:
- Their home:
Usually relocated, refugee children miss out on growing up in their own homeland, among friends and family. Unlike children who are raised under normal state of affairs, these kids are not exposed to their culture and surroundings that are vital for a holistic development.
A refugee camp (AFP)
- Regular education:
Most refugee children have no or negligible access to regular schools. Some are pulled out of schools because of war-like situations or have to discontinue so as to fend for the family.
A makeshift refugee school (AFP)
Leading a disturbed lifestyle, refugee children have no access to everyday food that we munch on. Most of them survive on minimum basics or go without food for several days. In several countries they are given food vouchers, so you can imagine they don't eat anything that we fancy on as kids - ice creams, burgers, pizzas or other junk food items.
Displaced kids eating (AFP)
- Lose their childhood too early:
Reeling under physical and psychological pressure, refugee kids mature much early than their counterparts. It is reported by the UN's refugee agency that countries like Syria have reported grave dangers for refugee kids. Girls are married to much older men vying for safety while the boys are forced into labour so as to sustain a family.
A kid at work in a refugee camp (AFP)
- Source of entertainment:
As a child refugee, the kids are always striving for safety and have no source of entertainment like movies, cartoons, leisure activities or even access to toys sometimes.
A child plays with makeshift tricycle (AFP)
Every year, war adds on to the number of refugees worldwide. Facing danger to life and other basic human rights, they need to be provided with a closer-to home environment for growth. Many organisations around the world like UNHCR, World Food Programs are working towards improving their living standards.
(Contributed by: Zeba Khan)