2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 28

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker


Refugee Children

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Before I start my declaration, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I know you will agree with me that we will be able to better accomplish our goals efficiently this year.

Honourable senators, today I rise to recognize 1.1 million Syrian refugee children. The Syrian war has been devastating for children both physically and psychologically.

In October, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees published a report on the plight of Syrian child refugees entitled The Future of Syria: Refugee Children in Crisis. A section of that report featured a beautiful two-year-old baby named Dalal. Dalal has big eyes and curly brown hair. She reminds me of my own granddaughter. She and her father fled from Homs in Syria to Jordan where they live in the Zaatari refugee camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp. The report showed the long scar on Dalal’s back from when she was shot six months prior. She is still too young to understand that she will never walk.

A six-year-old boy now living in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley developed a stutter after surviving bombings close to his home in Jobar, Damascus.

The mother of a two-year-old girl in Mount Lebanon said whenever her daughter hears a plane, she runs inside crying with her hands covering her ears.

Another mother in Beirut said her seven-year-old son was so severely affected that he imagines his father, who was killed in the war, is still alive.

Honourable senators, it is now 2014. The Syrian civil war has been waging for over a year and a half. Every day, more children are born in refugee camps, more children are psychologically traumatized by the death and destruction that they are surrounded with, and more innocent children are being injured and killed in a war that they have nothing to do with.

If the world is to make any resolutions for 2014, it should be to end the conflict in Syria and give adequate aid to the Syrian refugees. Honourable senators, we must do this for the sake of an entire generation of innocent Syrian children who will carry the scars of the war for the rest of their lives.