This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Syrian Refugee Crisis Just Keeps Getting Worse

As the Syrian civil war rages on without any obvious end in sight, the plight of the country's people continues to worsen. This week the UN warned the world about the potential for a lost generation of Syrian children. The New York Times reports that:
Syria’s conflict is creating a generation of damaged children, the United Nations warned Friday in a report on the plight of more than a million children who are refugees in neighboring countries, many of them deprived of access to education and of any semblance of a normal family life or childhood.
The agency [the UNHCR] has registered more than 1.1 million children among the total of 2.2 million refugees, presenting a crisis on a scale unseen since Rwanda two decades ago, Volker Türk, the agency’s director of international protection, told reporters in Geneva. Of these refugee children, more than 385,000 were in Lebanon and 290,000 were in Jordan, he said.
The conflict had caused children of all ages “to suffer immensely, both physically and psychologically,” the report said. “Children have been wounded or killed by sniper fire, rockets, missiles and falling debris. They have experienced firsthand conflict, destruction and violence.”
The Times also reported on the increasing number of Syrian refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe:
...since this summer, refugees have also started pouring into Europe in what became for many weeks a humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. Over five months, Italy’s Coast Guard rescued thousands of Syrians, even as hundreds of other migrants, including many Syrians, died in two major shipwrecks in October.
Getting a residency permit in Europe is a long and difficult task, and so after being exploited by smugglers, people find that life is not easy once ashore in Europe. It is difficult to see many happy endings here. 

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