REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
The tragedy of refugee children
One minute news coverage is not enough to understand the situation all these children and their families experience. Syrian refugees, for example, carry on their shoulders more weight than the few belongings they’ve managed to bring with them. They also carry the weight of massacres, rape, bombs, snipers and entire neighborhoods turned into rubble.
Many of these children leave their countries of origin with their families toward the Mediterranean Sea. A raft full of people and life vests of poor quality are their only means to find that better world. But the sea is treacherous and sometimes adds another trauma to their already fragmented young minds.
Jan Kizilhan, an expert in child psychology, said in the “German Society for Child and Adolescent Medicine” of Munich that 1 in 5 children refugees suffer from PTSD and that most of them suffer psychological scars for life.
The clinical picture of refugee children is almost always the same: aloofness, serious sleep disorders, depression and stress that makes them relive traumatic experiences over and over again, to the point of not being able to distinguish what is real from what is not.
What is the Refugee Crisis?
Worldwide, 22.5 million refugees, half of them children, have left everything behind to escape conflict, violence and persecution
Many have experienced profound physical and emotional traumas
Some are missing years of school, severely compromising their futures
Children travelling alone are especially vulnerable – if they make it at all
Others are starved out of their homelands due to drought and conflict