Four million Syrian children have no means of getting to a school in safety because of the actions of marauding gangs of terrorists firing at the personnel of the Syrian Arab Army, police, ambulance and fire services. The rest of the world looks on and Russia apart, blames the legitimately elected President of the country, Bashar al-Assad.
The United Nations Organization is trying to coordinate an initiative called No Lost Generation, aiming to prioritize the education of Syria's children before an entire generation has its schooling interrupted, losing important parts of the curriculum. UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa, Peter Salama, states: "The scale of the crisis for children is growing all the time, which is why there are now such fears that Syria is losing a whole generation of its youth".
UNICEF is co-hosting a conference held in London, UK, with a view to getting financing for the initiative from the representatives of over thirty nations who have committed to attend and with a view to solving the problem in the short and medium term. There are around four million Syrian children aged between five and seventeen years who need education assistance, among these being 2.1 million children inside Syria who cannot attend school because of the destabilization caused by gangs of terrorists aided, funded and abetted from outside the country and a further 700,000 children living as refugees in Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Apart from these there are over a million children inside Syria engaged in informal learning activities with volunteers or unofficial schools where the delivery of the curriculum is not open to supervision or any degree of quality control.
The conference will aim also to put pressure on armed groups, encouraging them not to attack schools or places of learning. UNICEF figures reveal that around a quarter of Syria's schools cannot be frequented because the accommodation has been damaged beyond use or because they are being used as military headquarters or as shelters or hospitals. The killing and kidnapping of students and teachers for ransom payments has become common practice among the terrorist groups fighting against the Syrian Government forces of President Bashar al-Assad.
The dire plight of Syria's children was underlined this week with the revelation by Europol, the European police force that more than ten thousand unaccompanied migrant children have disappeared off the records, fueling claims that they have been sold into sexual slavery or become victims of some other form of abuse, over the last 24 months.
The news was given this week by Europol spokesperson Brian Donald, who stated that after registering in the countries where they arrived, the children simply disappeared. He claimed that the numbers are "ten thousand-plus", five thousand of these in Italy.
While it is clear that some of these children will not have fallen into the hands of criminals and will be unofficially hosted with family members having crossed a border, Europol is aware that a criminal infrastructure has been set up in recent years to gain possession of these children and exploit them.
The total number of Syrian migrant children in the EU is estimated at some 270,000 among over one million people who have been forced to flee their homes because of the activity of terrorist gangs running amok in Syria, raping women, slicing the breasts off adolescent girls, raping nuns, setting fire to people, cutting the hearts out of Syrian Arab Army soldiers and eating them and other acts of demonic debauchery.
The solution? It appears obvious. Instead of aiding these terrorist groups by financing and arming them covertly, help the Government of Bashar al-Assad to regain control of the country which elected him in a free and fair plural, multi-candidate democratic election in 2014 with 88.7 per cent of the vote in an election monitored by some 30 nations with a 73% turnout.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.