The lost Generation What is happening to the children of Syria.....

The right to an education is a child's fundamental human right (OHCHR, 2016)

Children, through no fault of their own, except for where they live, have had to flee their home land. They can't go back to their own school, they can't go to school.

Basma, sharing her story...

According to the UNHCR (2016) 1 in 3 school aged children don't go to school in the Zaatari Refugee Camp. 13% of children are engaged in child labour, mainly in the markets in the Camp.

The barriers for children in going to school include: working to support their family, looking after their younger brothers and sisters, suffering abuse to, from and at school and the distance to get to school (Unicef, 2014)

Muna is 16, had finished Grade 5 in Syria and now looks after her 6 brothers and sisters
Brothers Faisal 12 and Feda 11, work for a Mechanic, 6 days a week. When Faisal grows up he wants to be Veterinarian and Feda wants to be a doctor or open a cow farm.
Khaled, 15
Young girls from the Zaatari Refugee Camp were asked - what do you want to be when you grow up? Response: A doctor, teacher, lawyer, artist, architect and an engineer .

There are a number of videos which capture the challenges and plight of families where children are working instead of being in school. It is hard to reconcile that a young person, due to where they live, is not able to go to school!

The video, Generation Standstill illustrates the realities of young people missing out on receiving an education not being able to learn to read or write as they have to work!

School, such a simple word, but so hard to digest!


Image 1: UNHCR, 2016. Photograph of a young person in the Zaatari Refugee Camp wanting to learn. Retrieved from:

Image 2: UNHCR, 2016. Photograph of a young person in the Zaatari Refugee Camp wanting to learn. Retrieved from:

Image 3: Time, 2014. Photograph of Muna, from Syria. Retrieved from:

Image 4: RT Documentary, 2015. Photograph of Faisal and Feda. Retrieved from:

Image 5: RT Documentary, 2015. Photograph of Khaled. Retrieved from:

Image 7: United Nations Foundation, 2016. Photograph of Syrian Refugee Children, dreams of the future. Retrieved from:

Video: RT Documentary, 2015. Generation Standstill: children of Syrian refugees in Lebanon miss on education to make a living. Retrieved from:

Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights, 201. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved from:, 2014

Unicef, 2014. Access to Education for Syrian Refugee Children in Zaatari Camp, Jordan. Joint Education Needs Assessment Report Education Sector Working Group, September 2014. Retrieved from:

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, October 2016. Syria Regional Refugee Response: Inter-agency Information Sharing Portal: Zaatari Refugee Camp. Retrieved from:

United Nations Foundation, 2016. Girls Inspire at the Zaatari Refugee Camp: Why All Children Deserve an Education. Retrieved from:

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