Imagine that you are fleeing your country to escape persecution and have survived a treacherous sea journey towards Australia’s shores. Imagine further that based solely on your country of origin, you could be “screened out” after a brief interview and sent back to the country you fled, while other asylum seekers get a full refugee status assessment.
Perhaps if you were from Switzerland or Sweden, it would be fair for Australia to make you undergo a pre-screening interview on the presumption that the country you came from is safe. But what if you are from Sri Lanka, a country barely recovering from a brutal and lengthy civil war whose government continues to oppress its own people?
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: 26 November 2013
Over 2.2 million people – more than 1.1 million of them children – have fled the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. Two boys play by their family’s tent, in the Domiz camp for Syrian refugees, in northern Iraq. UNICEF initiatives for children in the camp include screenings to detect malnutrition, routine vaccinations, education support, psychosocial assistance and improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
More information on UNICEF and Syria: https://storify.com/UNICEF/syrian-crisis
Kashgar (China) (AFP) - A Chinese government worker in the ancient Silk Road oasis of Kashgar beckons two women to her streetside stand and logs their details under the gaze of a surveillance camera. The “Project Beauty” campaign aims to discourage women from covering their faces — a religious practice for some Muslim Uighurs, the largest ethnic group in China’s Xinjiang region — in an attempt to improve security. Xinjiang, a vast area bordering Pakistan and Central Asia in China’s far west, beyond the furthest reaches of the Great Wall, has followed Islam for centuries.
Jordan, April 2013
First Photo: Early morning view of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan that hosts several hundred thousand Syrian refugees.
Second Photo: Despite the funding shortfall that WFP is facing the organisation is continuing to provide assistance to the Syrian refugees that have left the country. In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan WFP is handing our half a million pieces of bread daily as well as other food items in order to sustain the families that are undergoing this dramatic situation.
Last two Photos: Families like this one are grateful to WFP and other organisations for the support that they are receiving every day.
All Photos: WFP/Rein Skullerud
Syrian refugees streamed across a meandering pathway to the Kawergost camp outside Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Over 30,000 Syrian Kurds have crossed into northern Iraq in recent days.
Lynsey Addario for The New York Times (more)
- 716,000 in Lebanon
- 515,000 in Jordan
- 460,000 in Turkey
- 169,000 in Iraq
- 111,000 in Egypt
- 4.25 million others displaced inside Syria
This jaw-dropping picture shows another side of the two-year long Syrian civil war: the staggering amount of refugees. The photo was tweeted by CNN International anchor Hala Gorani and shows the Zaatari refugee camp.
The Zaatari refugee camp, about eight miles inside Jordan on the Syria border, is a tent city sprung from the desert. The Zaatri camp is home to roughly 120,000-160,000 refugees fleeing the civil war. It is largely a city of women and children. About 60,000 of the camp’s residents are children. It has become Jordan’s fifth-largest city.
Secretary of State John Kerry got a first-hand view of the sprawling refugee camp on Thursday. Kerry is on his sixth visit to the region since taking the job earlier this year.
In the back-and-forth diplomatic and political saga regarding the Syrian civil war, the human element has sometimes been left out. The brewing humanitarian crisis in the region is yet another layer in this mass tragedy which has claimed over 100,000 lives (6,000 of which have been children).
PHOTO OF THE WEEK - 5 November 2013
A man and a boy in Atma in the Syrian Arab Republic, an encampment for displaced persons, near the border with Turkey.
Inside the Syrian Arab Republic, the conflict has affected some 6.8 million people, including 4.25 million who have been internally displaced. Children are increasingly vulnerable, enduring the significant psychological toll of violence as well as the disintegration of infrastructure essential to their health and well-being – and their future.