Most Refugees are Children

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A refugee family arriving to Germany Photo: EFE

Anyone who has ever uttered the following sentence and meant it is dumber than a box of spanners: “The majority of refugees are young men who should be fighting for their country.”
According to a recent report by the charity UNICEF, more than half of all refugees in the world are children. The news came as something of a shock to idiots everywhere who cling to images of groups of young men from war-torn countries published in papers like the Daily Mail and swear they’re proof of an orchestrated invasion of the UK.
The report, which combines the latest global data on migration and not the views of the bloke down the pub or a spurious link on Facebook makes for harrowing reading. Of the 50 million children who have migrated or who have been forcibly removed, 28 million have had to abandon their homes because of conflict. Today, one in every 200 children in the world is a refugee, with large numbers making journeys on their own, which puts them at high risk of violence and sexual abuse.
Though many are indeed welcomed by communities in host countries, there are still millions whose presents and futures are blighted by xenophobia and discrimination. These reactions to refugees are a scandal.
Sure, people are worried that ISIS may take advantage of the situation to send in foot soldiers and sympathisers. But the overwhelming majority of refugees have no other motive than to survive, and they pose no danger.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper

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