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Abstract

In 2016, there were approximately 22.5 million refugees displaced outside their home country because of armed conflict, over half of whom are minors. Syria reported the highest number, with over eleven million refugees displaced, both internally and externally, from zones of conflict in 2017. Over five million Syrian refugees, between the years 2011 and 2017, have fled to other countries including: Lebanon (1.1 million), Jordan (660,000), Egypt (122,000), Turkey (2.9 million) and Iraq (241,000). Exposure to war, displacement, and violence deprives women and children of the basic right to health, including the “right to control one’s health and body” and “protection of women from domestic violence” Furthermore, General Comment 14 describes a broader scope of health including protection from armed conflicts and violence for both women and children. Cumulative trauma from violence, displacement, and exploitation by trafficking in refugee populations, has also been directly related to chronic mental and physical health issues. Countries accepting the largest number of refugees from Syria have been accepted in non-signatory countries of the UN Convention on Refugees, with few exceptions. European Union Countries, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, and Australia have taken in less Syrian refugees combined than any of the five above listed resource-challenged countries. The Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC), which is not a signatory to the UN Convention of Refugees and is not required to take in refugees, has provided substantial monetary support to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) provided over $530 million USD for Syrian Humanitarian Relief since the crisis began and is the largest contributor to aid in the region (Al-Khateeb, 2015). Over $40 billion USD was donated by Gulf Cooperative Countries for all crisis in the region, including the Syrian conflict. However, refugee resettlement remains restricted in GCC countries to those with viable professions and resistance to acceptance of Syrian refugees by signatory Western Nation States has placed a large burden on a few resource-poor countries. Specifically, this paper addresses health and human rights violations related to violence and trafficking of women and children refugees across Syrian borders into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt and propose comprehensive program interventions to address the health and human rights issues of women and children refugees.

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