Before Syria’s disastrous war, nearly all the country’s children went to school. Now, they are carrying guns, selling fuel, harvesting potatoes, baking bread and repairing shoes.
Many of these children are their families’ sole or primary breadwinner, and 2.7 million of them no longer are receiving an education, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the aid group Save the Children.
“The Syria crisis has dramatically reduced family livelihood opportunities and impoverished millions of households in the region,” Roger Hearn, Save the Children’s Middle East and Eurasia director, said in a statement. “As families become increasingly desperate, children are working primarily for their survival.”