The UN has reported that the number of global lone refugee children is approximated to be 300 thousand. Of course, this is only a rough estimate that doesn’t take into account areas that don’t release data, meaning that such numbers can be dramatically higher than projected.
As many children are traveling without company, they are exposed to the treacherous dangers of the streets and have become subject to abuse and victims of rape. Alongside this, several refugee children, including some of those who have succeeded in gaining asylum, are deprived of a primary education. According to a report issued by the UNHCR in 2016, it is estimated that only 50% of refugee children are receiving a primary education.
Refugee Children’s Traumatic Experiences
Refugee children often encounter harm, abuse, and assault when attempting to seek asylum from other countries. Many refugee children have described their traumatic experiences. For example, Mary is a seventeen-year-old refugee from Nigeria who has reported being raped by a smuggler after he threatened her to not take her to Europe if she refused to sleep with him.
3 Factors Hindering Refugee Children Education
The education of refugee children has been hindered by many factors, including the social, economic and political ones. From a social viewpoint, many families have prioritized educating males over females. In addition, a growing concern is that refugee children may be targeted by bullies at school; hence preventing successful social integration.
From the economic aspect, some refugee parents may prefer not to send their children to school in order for the children to support them in labor. The education of refugee children is also limited by the shortage of space, as not all schools have enough space to accept a large number of children.
As well, lone refugee children who are not enrolled in a refugee camp and haven’t found a place that accommodates them are also unable to receive an education due to their constant displacement. Also, some refugees have reported not being able to enroll their children in schools due to their lack of residency, which is a prerequisite for some schools.
In conclusion, refugee children continue to struggle to establish a life in another country and to obtain an education and many remain unaided. They also suffer from abuse and are faced by multiple threats in the course of their journeys.
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