Pictures released by Save the Children have documented the harrowing reality for Syrian refugee children and their families trying to escape violence and war as the country’s crisis escalates.
The charity released the images as part of today's World Refugee Day, depicting the 1.6 million Syrian refugees who have fled civil war and crossed borders into Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.
The photographs captured by award winning photographer Moises Saman join descriptions of children dying at roadsides from dehydration and injuries whilst trying to flee conflict zones.
The UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) also released their annual Global Trends report on Wednesday, highlighting that the Syrian crisis has increased the number of refugees to over 45 million, the highest number reported since 1994. This figure has increased sharply from the 42.5 million since the end of 2011.
Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children said: “The horrific stories we’ve gathered from refugees over the past few days show how children are bearing the brunt of the Syrian conflict.
“Children in Syria are being killed, tortured, recruited as soldiers and abused in horrifying numbers. Children are being separated from their parents, and some are dying alone at the roadside from their wounds.
“Ultimately, the only solution to this crisis is an end to the violence, but in the meantime, we urgently need to reach those trapped inside Syria. Unless we can, I am afraid we will hear more horrifying stories of children forced into ever more desperate circumstances.”
World Refugee Day, currently in its 13th year, will be observed across 100 countries around the world. Each year on 20 June the United Nations Refugee Agency and various other civic groups around the world celebrate the event to raise awareness of the millions of people displaced internally and globally, who have been forced to flee their home because of conflict or persecution.
United Nations ambassador Angelina Jolie has already flown out to the Middle East to call on Major General Hussein Al-Zyoud for more humanitarian aid ahead of World Refugee Day. The actress has also released a “public service announcement” video asking for world wide support on the events website.
Video: Angelina Jolie visits refugees