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Children at risk in northeast Syria

UNICEF calls for the release of children in detention, taking them through restorative justice and the return of foreign children in the northeast of Syria to their home countries.

Intensifying violence in the city of Al Hasakah, related to the “Ghwayran” prison break attempt last Thursday, has put at serious risk the safety of nearly 850 children who are in detention. Some are as young as 12 years old. According to reports, more than 100 people were killed, and thousands were displaced in the ongoing violence.

As fighting continues, the risk for children increases including to be harmed or forcibly recruited. Violence might also spread to other prisons, inside the camps and local communities.

Children in the Ghwayran prison are children and have the right to access restorative justice procedures. We call for the release of children from prison. Detention of children should only be a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible.

In the northeast of Syria, nearly 10,000 children and their mothers are in detention centres or the Al-Hol and Roj camps. They come from more than 60 countries and are struggling to survive amid increasingly dire conditions and the harsh winter. All of them are critically vulnerable and in urgent need of protection. Children don’t have basic services including warm clothes, hygiene, health, education and food.

Source: UNICEF

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