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Drug Consumption Reported in Deraa Camp for Palestinian Refugees

Published : 01-11-2021

Drug Consumption Reported in Deraa Camp for Palestinian Refugees

Palestinian refugee youths continue to struggle with the devastating impact of the eleven-year warfare in Syria, amidst a deadly pandemic outbreak.

Palestinian refugee youths (aged 12 – 30) make up nearly 30% of the Palestinians of Syria, estimated at 540,000 in 2014.

The war has resulted in increasing rates of juvenile delinquency, unemployment, and psychological disorders.

Reports of drug consumption and trafficking have also increasingly emerged in displacement camps set up for Palestinian refugees in Syria, including Deraa Camp, to the south.

A former member of a pro-government militia who spoke to AGPS on condition of anonymity confessed that he was transferring cannabis, tramadol and captagon to militiamen deployed at flashpoints with opposition forces. The militiamen, many of whom were forced into military conscription with regime battalions, consume drugs to overcome the terrifying scenes of bloodshed.

In 2020, the Syrian security forces summoned a member of the Palestine Liberation Army, affiliated with the Syrian regime, to questioning following reports of drug trafficking. The man, called Faisal, fled to Turkey.

Daily scenes of destruction and bloodshed in Syria forced dozens of helpless civilians, among them children, to consume drugs and sniff glue, among other life-threatening substances, as a means to get over the trauma inflicted by the unabated warfare. Drug use, which starts as a way to escape, quickly makes their life worse.

Drug distribution is often carried out by children aged below 18 and members of cash-strapped and vulnerable families who are exploited by illicit drug trafficking networks which are subject to drug prohibition laws.

At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weak infrastructure of the education systems in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. Many teachers, students, and parents agreed that the quality of teaching and learning deteriorated during the distance education period imposed by the lockdown, despite efforts made by teaching staff. 

Available data by UNRWA indicates that 32 UNRWA facilities have been reduced to rubble in Yarmouk Camp alone, including 16 schools, in the Syrian conflict.

Several other UNRWA facilities were destroyed in the Syrian warfare and others have gone out of operation, including two clinics, a vocational training center, a youth development center, and 28 schools, out of 112 UNRWA schools in Syria.

Upon more than one occasion, the UN has raised alarm bells over the striking upsurge in the rate of school dropouts among the Palestinians of Syria, several among whom have left schools to help feeding their impoverished families in unemployment-stricken refugee camps.

Shortly after the outburst of the deadly warfare, the Syrian government forced Palestinian refugees aged 18 and above to join affiliated militias for periods of at least one year and a half. Those who refuse conscription are subjected to crackdowns, abductions and even executions. As a result, thousands fled the tension-stricken country in the hunt for a safer shelter.

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/12395

Palestinian refugee youths continue to struggle with the devastating impact of the eleven-year warfare in Syria, amidst a deadly pandemic outbreak.

Palestinian refugee youths (aged 12 – 30) make up nearly 30% of the Palestinians of Syria, estimated at 540,000 in 2014.

The war has resulted in increasing rates of juvenile delinquency, unemployment, and psychological disorders.

Reports of drug consumption and trafficking have also increasingly emerged in displacement camps set up for Palestinian refugees in Syria, including Deraa Camp, to the south.

A former member of a pro-government militia who spoke to AGPS on condition of anonymity confessed that he was transferring cannabis, tramadol and captagon to militiamen deployed at flashpoints with opposition forces. The militiamen, many of whom were forced into military conscription with regime battalions, consume drugs to overcome the terrifying scenes of bloodshed.

In 2020, the Syrian security forces summoned a member of the Palestine Liberation Army, affiliated with the Syrian regime, to questioning following reports of drug trafficking. The man, called Faisal, fled to Turkey.

Daily scenes of destruction and bloodshed in Syria forced dozens of helpless civilians, among them children, to consume drugs and sniff glue, among other life-threatening substances, as a means to get over the trauma inflicted by the unabated warfare. Drug use, which starts as a way to escape, quickly makes their life worse.

Drug distribution is often carried out by children aged below 18 and members of cash-strapped and vulnerable families who are exploited by illicit drug trafficking networks which are subject to drug prohibition laws.

At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the weak infrastructure of the education systems in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. Many teachers, students, and parents agreed that the quality of teaching and learning deteriorated during the distance education period imposed by the lockdown, despite efforts made by teaching staff. 

Available data by UNRWA indicates that 32 UNRWA facilities have been reduced to rubble in Yarmouk Camp alone, including 16 schools, in the Syrian conflict.

Several other UNRWA facilities were destroyed in the Syrian warfare and others have gone out of operation, including two clinics, a vocational training center, a youth development center, and 28 schools, out of 112 UNRWA schools in Syria.

Upon more than one occasion, the UN has raised alarm bells over the striking upsurge in the rate of school dropouts among the Palestinians of Syria, several among whom have left schools to help feeding their impoverished families in unemployment-stricken refugee camps.

Shortly after the outburst of the deadly warfare, the Syrian government forced Palestinian refugees aged 18 and above to join affiliated militias for periods of at least one year and a half. Those who refuse conscription are subjected to crackdowns, abductions and even executions. As a result, thousands fled the tension-stricken country in the hunt for a safer shelter.

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/12395