敘利亞兒童有甚麼未來?

 

敘利亞兒童有甚麼未來?

安東尼.雷克 聯合國兒童基金會執行主任
這個月,無情的敘利亞危機踏入第5年。
這個令人震驚的歷史性時刻,標誌着暴力衝突及苦難已持續四年,而短期內不見得有結束的跡象。數以萬計平民被奪去性命,數以萬計人民流離失所。家園、醫院、學校都成為襲擊對象。不少社區被斷絕人道救援,缺水缺糧。暴力衝突更不斷擴大,蔓延至鄰近國家。試試由兒童的眼晴出發,想像他們在恐怖衝突的生活。他們的家被炮擊或淪為廢墟;他們失去所愛的人或朋友;他們的學習受到中斷,或根本從未試過上學;他們的童年就這樣被偷走。
這場危機是近代史上最惡劣的人道災難。聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)估計在敘利亞及周邊國家,多達1,400萬名兒童受災受難。
Safa 14 years old, Syrian refugee that fled violence two years ago to Kawergosk camp in northern Iraq. Safa: Four years has passed since the children here last saw any of their relatives, friends or homes. The ones responsible are politicians. I want tell you politicians, stop this game so we can go back to our country so that children who lost their parents can have a future, so we also can have a future. Life goes on, I am still attending the English class, and I go to school every day. Sometimes it rains, and by the time I get back home, I am covered in mud. The same happens each time it rains. Since two years I have not seen my friends in Syria nor my nephews, I also didnÕt see my siblings. I know that there are Syrian children that have lived in camps twice as long as I have. There are many children living in these camps, some are my age and others are younger or older. Many of the children born here in the camp know nothing about Syria. They donÕt even know how it (Syria) looks. They donÕt know how their homes look. Some of them do not even know their relatives. Many of them are young and yet have lost their parents. Two years passed and still my wish didnÕt come true. I felt little disappointed, but I have to cope with the situation. It is not up to us to leave the camp and go back. Living here is not like Syria, not at all. When UNICEF interviewed Safa 2 years earlier, her message to the children of the world was: You should thank God for the blessings you have, living in your homes and countries. Thank you and donÕt forget us. With the conflict in Syria now entering its fifth year, some 14 million children across the region are suffering from the escalating conflict sweeping Syria and much of Iraq. The situation of more than 5.6 million children inside Syria remains the most desperate. That includes up to 2 million children who are living in areas of the country largely cut off from humanitarian assistance due to fighting or other factors.

© UNICEF/MENA2015-00010/Hazou
對年幼的兒童來說,他們所知道的,就只有這場危機;他們所認識的世界,就只有衝突和剝削。對踏入成長期的青少年來說,暴力及苦難不但在他們的生活中留下傷痕,更會令他們的未來定型。這個歲數的青年,本應要開始作出影響一生的抉擇;但敘利亞的青年,卻仍然留守在掙扎求存的階段。他們大多只能繼續面對殘酷的事實:或被迫工作,維持家計;或被迫童婚;或被武裝組織招募。
這些兒童將如何選擇他們的前路?他們又有甚麼選擇?
他們還可相信自己能擁有美好的將來嗎?抑或會認定自己將來難以有穩定的生活,在絕望中自暴自棄,別無他選?更壞的情況是,他們會否認定暴力是平常不過的事,從而演變成一個使用暴力的人?
1年前,人道救援界的領導者就警告,暴力及絕望可令我們失去一整代年輕人──而敘利亞及鄰國的未來亦將一併失去。今日,這些風險未有減退。
當敘利亞危機踏入第5年,年輕一代仍被暴力的惡性循環所威脅,他們或會在當中迷失──將自己承受的暴力,加諸於下一代身上。國際社會正透過接觸這些兒童,進行人道救援,提供保護、教育及其他支援,嘗試黑暗中給予希望,但這些行動遠遠不足。
我們不能放棄這群年輕人──我們要在他們放棄自己、放棄自己的將來之前,接觸他們。尚有時間,亦尚有希望。我們見到,即使受盡危機影響、飽受傷害,要忍受不公平待遇,並發現成人顯然無法制止這場可怕衝突,不少兒童仍抱着勇氣和決心,建設更美好的生活。
16歲的Alaa,兩年前逃離飽受戰火蹂躪的家鄉霍姆斯,學業被迫中斷,幸而之後得到職業培訓的機會──今天,他成為導師,栽培其他兒童。
alaa
christina
10歲的Christina逃難至伊拉克北部,住在收容難民家庭的營地。她努力維持自己的學習進度之餘,更教導比自己年幼的兒童。
看到孩子的決心,我們豈能動搖幫助他們的決心?他們還沒放棄希望,我們又怎能放棄?我們行動的結果,將由下一代,甚至之後數代人承擔……這場慘不忍睹的危機不止影響數以百萬計的兒童。當他們長大成人,他們以及他們作出的選擇,可影響國內,甚至區內數以百萬人的未來。未來究竟是希望與和平,還是暴力與絕望?
後者絕不是兒童應有的未來,亦肯定不是我們想見的將來。
敘利亞兒童要上學,要受保護,要得到支援。這一切關係到他們的將來。