By Jay Ng, for The Guardian
Delegates at UNICEF have reached consensus and passed a resolution in regards to the Syrian child refugee crisis. The committee acknowledged the urgency of this issue and has proposed practical measures.
This resolution mainly focuses on delivering support in key aspects of children’s lives such as health, education and psychosocial assistance.
Syria and its immediate countries will be divided into Zone 1 (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Iraq, the Republic of Turkey) and Zone 2 (Syria) for the efficient targeting of aid. Given Syria’s strong stance on sovereignty, the resolution aims to prioritize child health and welfare within Zone 1.
Vaccines, medical professionals, clean water and food will be the main resources delivered to children. UNICEF delegates also believe in Syrian children’s rights to continue their education despite the ongoing political instability. UNICEF will consult educators from Syria and surrounding regions to create the best possible school curriculum in order to accommodate for all cultural differences.
Delegates from India and Israel proposed an anti-violence against women campaign within the framework of the resolution. Men will be provided with education that discourages the use of violence in the private and public sphere in order to avoid future sexual assaults imposed on women and children.
The resolution also calls for Member States to increase funding support to achieve efficiency and accelerate the development of goals.Delegates would also like to address the need for clarification over the legal status of refugees born in Zone 1 refugee camps. It calls on Member States to reaffirm the maternal origin of citizenship rights of children and their right of return.
By Jay Ng, for The Guardian
The Guardian delivered the shocking proof of what has long been suspected about the efficiency of Syrian crisis relief efforts, which led to an emergency crisis in the afternoon. The Jordanian government has been knowingly assisting Syrian rebel factions in recruiting Syrian child refugees to fight against the Syrian government.
This has been triggered by Jordan’s dissatisfaction towards the ongoing refugee burden. An anonymous source said even 8 years olds are taken away in the middle of the night for Syrian rebel recruitment. There are also similar reports originating from Egypt.
Child rebel soldiers are committing violent acts towards the Syrian government. They are provided with weapons training, demoralisation, and often punishment and torture. Jordanian government has responded saying these allegations are ridiculous.
The Tunisian government sent representatives to UNICEF to confirm that Egypt and Jordan have been engaged in supporting rebels and the recruitment of child soldiers.
UNICEF delegates condemned Egypt and Jordan, and attempted to suspend their voting rights. The motion, which Argentina forcefully supported with other delegates, failed twice in voting. Sweden told The Guardian that this is a motion that violates democracy.
The US proposed and passed a successful draft resolution that aims to focus on short-term actions such as calling for UN investigation and recommends the UNSC employ peacekeepers in refugee camps.
Syria held doubt about the effectiveness of the goals proposed by US and reaffirmed that they are likely to take unilateral action in case of failure. Israel has also raised concerns in regards to the generalization of peacekeeping strategies in the draft resolution.The US is hoping to implement long term goals in the next meeting in regards to education for refugee children. This will avoid similar situations in the future, as it empowers children’s future.