Today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day. World Refugee day was established by the United Nations to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. At the end of 2012 over 45.2 million people were displaced.
Civil war in Syria has led to one of the largest refugee situations in the world today. As the conflict rages into its third year – 650, 000 children have fled Syria and are seeking shelter in neighbouring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. These children, in the midst of conflict they had no part in, are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.
Disaster and emergency situations like the war in Syria, put children at increased risk of sexual violence and children living in refugee camps are among the groups most vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Today, please take a moment to think of the millions of refugee boys and girls in Syria and around the world.