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UNICEF: 50 Million Children Displaced Worldwide


Syrian children stand in front of a UNICEF center during a visit by Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai at the Zaatri refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria February 18, 2014.

Syrian children stand in front of a UNICEF center during a visit by Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai at the Zaatri refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria February 18, 2014.

Nearly 50 million children in the world are refugees, migrants or without a home, the United Nations Children’s agency reported.

UNICEF said 28 million children have fled violence or conflict, according to a written report. The agency called the situation “a growing crisis.”

Last year, almost half of all children registered as refugees came from two countries: Syria and Afghanistan.

But UNICEF said this crisis affects children from all parts of the world. The UNICEF report mentioned that Central America, Asia and Africa also have refugees who are children.

The report notes that when and if children reach their final stops, the threats they face often do not disappear. Those threats include sex trafficking, criminal gangs and smuggling. Children continue to need help and protection.

FILE - Syrian refugee children attend an English lesson inside a makeshift school tent during a visit by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.

FILE - Syrian refugee children attend an English lesson inside a makeshift school tent during a visit by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.

UN summit

World leaders gather in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly later this month. There will be two separate meetings on migration and refugees.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host the first meeting. U.S. President Barack Obama will host the second meeting.

UNICEF said it hopes the summits will be committed to children.

The UNICEF report called for addressing the root causes of migration and refugees. The agency said conflict, violence and extreme poverty are the root causes.

The report also urges measures to stop xenophobia and discrimination against refugees. And, it introduced measures to prevent the abuse of children on the move.

I’m Anna Matteo.

The staff at VOA News wrote this story. Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

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Words in This Story

gangn. a group of young people who do illegal things together and who often fight against other gangs

smugglingv. to move someone or something from one country into another illegally and secretly

xenophobian. fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners

migrants - n. people who move from one place to another, often for economic reasons

mentioned - v. noted

annual - adj. yearly; taking place once a year

committed - v. to decide to use or do something for a reason

host - v. to lead or chair an event

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