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UNICEF calls for end to terrorist recruitment of children and abuse in Syria

A child carrying a Unicef plastic bag walks towards a class inside a tent at Reyyan Camp in Kafr Uruq village of Idlib, Syria on 24 November 2020. [Muhammed Abdullah - Anadolu Agency]
A child carrying a Unicef plastic bag walks towards a class inside a tent at Reyyan Camp in Kafr Uruq village of Idlib, Syria on 24 November 2020. [Muhammed Abdullah - Anadolu Agency]

The UN children's agency, UNICEF, called on Sunday for all children held in displacement camps or jails in north-east Syria to be allowed to go home. The UN body said the safe reintegration and repatriation of all children held by the Kurdish PKK/YPG terrorist group in Al-Hol camp and across the region is essential.

"At least three children lost their lives and another 15 were injured last night when a fire broke out in Al-Hol camp," said UNICEF. Many thousands of children are held in the camp, it pointed out.

Indeed, there are 65,000 people in Al-Hol alone, including 22,000 non-Syrian children. Altogether there are 28,000 Syrians, 30,000 Iraqis and 10,000 foreigners of at least 60 nationalities. Most of the civilians were taken to the camp by force by the PKK/YPG in April 2017.

From January 2014 to September 2020, the PKK/YPG "recruited" at least 911 children, according to UN data and information supplied by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

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