Today, half of the 60 million people displaced worldwide are children—the greatest number of total displaced people since World War II and the greatest percentage who are children in over a decade. Despite a harsh winter, the first months of 2016 have seen record number of refugees arriving in Europe. For the first time since European refugee crisis began, the number of women and children exceed males. In the aftermath of terrorism in Paris and San Bernardino, this period has also been marked by tightened border control measures in many countries, limiting legal pathways to asylum and family reunification.
Try wrapping your mind around some numbers just coming to light from reports issued by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) last week:
Nearly 2.5 million Syrian children are being kept from school because of the raging violence that has driven many families from their communities, destroyed some 5,000 schools, and seen the loss of more than 50,000 teachers who have been killed, threatened, or left Syria. It’s worth noting that prior to the disastrous and still raging civil war, the Syrian educational system was doing well, with universal education and high literacy rates. Forget all that. The persistent violence has caused many children to lose years of educational opportunity.