Eyewitnesses to SOHR | Children and women feed on restaurants garbage in Idlib • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Eyewitnesses to SOHR | Children and women feed on restaurants garbage in Idlib

Despite of presence of dozens of humanitarian organizations in Idlib and at sight of the concerned bodies, at few meters far from the luxurious companies, restaurants and the large investments projects, it has become common after an era passed on the revolution to see a child or a woman or an old man collecting food left out of the garbage to eat or to pick up plastic bag to sell it and earn money for feeding the hungry mouths.

Syria lives a bitter realty for many reasons and details but the outcome is one and the harmed side is one which is the child who carries everyday a plastic bag to collect the garbage and in his mind the image of his family that lost his breadwinner and the child now has to replace his parents.

While the children in other countries go to their schools, “A.A” a 13-year-old male child was wandering in Deir Hassan neighborhood in north Idlib countryside who is displaced from west Hama countryside for collecting the plastic bag, pins, and junk and feels happy when he finds cans of energy drinks because it is the most expensive cans.

In exclusive interview with SOHR, “A.A” said he walked for seven hours to collect the plastic products and put it in front of his tent to sell it for one of the hawkers who buy all his collected garbage with only 10 Turkish liras per day to bury some bread and other stuff for his family.

The child said he had to work after leaving his school and was displaced to help his father to provide sources of daily living conditions.

“Due to the hiking prices and there is no work for my father, I decided to collect the plastic from the garbage and sell it despite the work difficulties,” he said, adding he wished to return back to his village and school.

He also wished that his father can find a job for improving his family conditions because he was subjected to many psychological and physical insults.

On the other hand, “H.B” who was deported with his family from south Idlib countryside to northern Syria and when his family living conditions deteriorated, the boy started to work with other kids in collecting plastic from the garbage and sell it.

In his testimony to SOHR, “H.B.” is a young man who was deported with his family from south Idlib countryside to camps in northern Syria and after his family conditions were deteriorated, he started to work with other children for collecting and selling the garbage.

He told SOHR that “after our miserable conditions led us to the displacement camps, I was forces to start working with other three children in collecting the plastic materials from the pins and sell it to meet the daily demands of my family.”

He stressed that he doesn’t receive humanitarian aid except for a food basket per month that isn’t enough for several days adding his camp is poor with regards to the life requirements.

On the other hand, “M.A” who is an activist in north Idlib countryside told SOHR that the employment of children and women in collecting the garbage has been highly spreading.

“Collecting garbage has become one of the main sources of income for many families that suffer lost of breadwinner, extreme poverty and unemployment,” he said.

The activist added that ages of the working children range between ten to 15 years old as they collect the plastic, garbage, iron and even cooper and then sell to other people who tour the areas in their care and then take the collected garbage to traders and special labs for recycling it.

He added that the main reasons for women and children to take this job is the lack of job opportunities and the hiking prices of the food stuff in addition to the insufficient subsidy to the children in a way that help them to go to schools instead of working in garbage.

The activists called on the humanitarian organizations and the concerned bodies to secure aid for the kids and women and avoid exposing them to dangers of work and the garbage tanks that caused physical and philological damages.

Nearly four millions in Idlib and its countryside in north west Syria due to the huge deportations moves, most of them lives on UN and local aids amid complete control by Tahrir al-Sham and the Salvation Government on the civilian income and all the economic aspects.

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