Children born and raised in refugee camps

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Being born in a refugee camp

One can imagine how traumatic it can be on the young mother to give birth in a refugee camp, and what long term impact it may have on the baby. But whatever the circumstance that brought the family to take refuge, it is hard to believe that many remain in the camp for very long periods of time. Many children and thus born and raised within the confines of the camp, and receive whatever schooling the relief agencies are able to provide.

In one refugee camp alone, the Zaatari Regugee Camp in Jordan1 which shelters refugees from the Syrian civil war, around 30,000 babies are delivered within the camp's only clinic equipped with a delivery room and which operates 24/72.

Long term refugee camps

Theoretically, refugee camps are meant to provide temporary relief (shelter and provision for basic human needs. They are not meant to last beyond what's necessary to recover from a natural disaster (earthquake, flood, drought and famine, etc.) or from some man-made disaster (civil war, genocide...).

Unfortunately, some camps have existed for decades. Many among those born in the camps end up spending most, if not all, their childhood there. They are thus deprived of the most basic opportunities that we (who can access this web site and read this article) have taken for granted our entire lives.

For example, the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya, has been operating for over 20 years and now houses 300,000 people and three generations of refugees 3.

See also

  • Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya, operating since the early 1990s.

External resources

  • Budburam, a refugee camp in Ghana, in operation since 1990.

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