In war-torn Syria, 2 million children are potentially vulnerable to trauma, disease and malnutrition, according to a new report by Save the Children.
In its study, titled "Children Under Fire," due out on Wednesday, the aid group said that children in Syria, which is now in its third year of the conflict -- are having difficulty trying to find something eat; that they are living in barns, caves and parks; and that young girls are being married at a young age to avoid potential sexual assault.
The report also notes that even children are themselves the objects of violence, with one in three kids having been reportedly "hit, kicked or shot at."
"For millions of Syrian children, the innocence of childhood has been replaced by the cruel realities of trying to survive this vicious war," said Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles in a press release. "Many are now living out in the open, struggling to find enough to eat, without the right medicine if they become sick or injured. As society has broken down, in the worst cases, hunger, homelessness and terror have replaced school for some of these young people. We cannot allow this to continue unchecked; the lives of too many children are at stake."
In a Reuters interview, Save the Children Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said it is a war where women and children are the biggest casualty. He related a story in which a child was put in a prison with 150 other people.
"He was taken out every day and put in a giant wheel and burnt with cigarettes," said Forsyth. "He was 15. The trauma that gives a child is devastating."
The research for the report was conducted by Turkey's Bahcesehir University.