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tv   Close up - Lebanon - The Lost Generation  Deutsche Welle  February 20, 2018 6:15am-6:45am CET

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god. they came over this mountain range on the other side is their country syria. they are needed here in the bekaa valley. the harvest lasts until december until then there is work for everyone. tens of thousands of refugees from the syrian civil war are laboring in the fields near the syrian lebanese border. children like we on have to work to provide for their families together with her friend fatma she
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works an eight hour shift like the others here sometimes even longer. more than half the farm laborers our children who should be going to school but have been drafted to work as wage slaves. the farmer who owns the potato field hires the young field workers via the camp supervisor or shall we he ensures that the harvest is carried out without a hitch and that his workers get what they need to subsist on. with. my parents get four packages of bread every day for all of us there is a deduction for electricity. and for the space where my family has our tent up to follow some simple. we've come to lebanon to find out how this system of child labor functions the
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young generation will be needed to help rebuild syria what will it mean for them and the country if half of these children grow up unable to read or write. we don't get any money i do this for my family when i work my wages are credited to me once a month they settle the accounts if i need something for myself i have to ask my parents. for. the men with sticks keep the field workers under control so that if you have that kid anyone who is too slow faces the prospect of a beating. the farmer who the workers have been contracted to has to be kept happy there is no shortage of syrian farm laborers to choose from. now i can only go to school when it rains i have a three hundred when there's nothing to do in the field we can go if we have
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permission. i don't go to school but some of the other kids do one. was. going off without the over. once the field has been harvested the young workers are trucked off to the next room. two more fields are waiting for them the bay come valley is covered in potato farms and. the shell we should recruits the children in the refugee camp. his business model depends on the dependency of others the syrian families owed him money as soon as they arrived in lebanon. was that.
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we were to go along. the refugees are brought directly to me homes really have to pay the traffickers five hundred to six hundred dollars i take on the costs. and over time they pay me back. to shall we she is not only a job recruit or his business is housing refugees who have no valid documents whoever ends up in his custody has to a bank his rules. or but they are going to hire me i set up the tent for the residents i pay for their electricity and water the hope is i even fetch bread for them. in return they work for me and i take part of their wages naturally. i'm not running a charitable organization here. but i was not you know i was of
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unofficial camps like this one the shall we she is the boss here. the people who live in the camps have no residence permits they are in lebanon illegally and they are forced to lead a marginal existence. and i think what. happened my family didn't get up to. the grown ups mostly earn money as hired hands on construction sites they send their children out to do the less strenuous far more. fucked me and her family came here four years ago but may's younger siblings are still too young to work she helps them with their schoolwork. but some of our. political flatmate would like to go to school but she doesn't have the time. her friend we arm brings her the exercises from the lessons.
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flatmate was out working in the field early this morning. so i get a facets every day and go to work i come home around two o'clock in the afternoon then i help my mother with the housework and do homework with the little ones when the local level seven with a rule. to get all this there are half a million syrian children in lebanon who should be going to school but more than half of them are obliged to earn money as illegal migrants the adults have a hard time making a regular income that's why they send their children to work. i cannot promise to send to say i only went to school for a short time then i couldn't go anymore so i mustn't then i'm afraid of that it's also for the past two years i've been working to earn money. that. i have
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laugh as in the last a letter that means then you didn't hear them or did a lamb i wouldn't. get mad i. said well. that man is god at the back i had that around about what well oh my man said hapgood now like dad what. i'd like to be a pediatrician that's my dream and i like to learn a lot and fulfill my dream but unfortunately that can't be my house. right next to the syrian border is the town of right. here the extent of child
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labor is plain to see. precious few school age children attend classes. most of them came here after their homes in syria were destroyed they came to lebanon seeking a life in peace. here in right they make bricks for the building industry. seventy factories press cement to produce thousands of blocks every day. factory owner ziad cousin runs one of the biggest companies in the town syrians have been coming over the border for decades to work here when the civil war broke out they brought their families to and
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settled next to the cement factory. while they want to get the goods and everything and the syrians have one child after another as if they didn't have any other problems. that lebanon is straining under their presidents think it was a lot minimum but there are some areas that wouldn't function without the serious it's going on a field workers for the cement press and for the drilling machines and for stacking the bricks when it's serious for that oh let me that i thought about when i was because that now. everyone has to pitch in including the girls the youngest workers are ten years old. the family fled here from homes four years ago after their house was hit by a missile their new home is directly next to one of the smaller brick factories in ra eat. the two
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sisters wild and drug god usually work five days a week. lebanon's construction industry is booming and demand for bricks is high. the children are likely to have work for some time to come. i thirteen year old drug god helps her brother fill the cement into the moment the workers are paid by the brick the faster they are the more they earn. i. a quarter of a million of these children go to work instead of school the lebanese economy would grind to a halt without them. i've been bad taking my brothers sometimes bats with allie about who can make more breaks i help my brother so he
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doesn't hurt himself. but sat yesterday a brick that failed his fate is that i felt so bad for him that. girls like run god are being robbed of their childhood she would normally be in seventh grade but she has never seen a school classroom. yes i'm allowed to go to school but the teacher didn't want me he wanted why not but i don't know what i did he send you away that he said i was too old. they don't take such big people's who have eleven in the school system is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of syrian refugees many children are turned away there not enough
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resources to accommodate all of them that means youngsters like have virtually no chance of getting an education instead the thirteen year olds daily routine is toiling away in a brick factory. i can you imagine your future. the work. i have no chance making breaks i have to until we can go back to syria what. do you like doing there's. not really. much i hate it.
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i've i've was . in the evening the air is still full of the dust from the factories. the families gather outside their tents. most of the syrians see lebanon as a temporary home and few want to stay here any longer than they have to. get a few laughs but i think. one that we have met up in homes where the alsa lay family run a transportation company they lived in
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a large house all that remains of it now are memories or lamas that ability to manage our situation is not very good that in syria we had a normal life and that the kids could go to school. that many of the families that came to lebanon with us have moved on and that some of them went as far as canada or australia. and i've never been them and we don't want to go any further to be honest be haven't even tried one another we want to return to syria we want to go back that is a lot of food in that. inshallah they say god willing they will soon be able to return to our regular life in syria. beirut the capital of lebanon. the city has undergone many changes since the refugees arrived lebanon has taken in one and
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a half million syrians relative to the population that's more than any other country. today every fourth resident here comes from syria most of them eke out a living on the fringes of society they are merely tolerated and get little in the way of support from the state. eighty percent of the around one and a half million syrians here do not any longer have legal status to be in lebanon this raises an enormous range of barriers for the right it means they can't move freely for fear of arrest at checkpoints which means they can't work and when they can't work they have very few resources to support their families to pay for rent and to pay for basic things like transportation to send their kids to school. human rights expert. is the author of a study on the barriers to education that the refugee children face it's
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a massive problem. we found that lebanon had opened up two hundred thousand spots for trial for syrian children here and only about one hundred fifty thousand of those were filled so aside from the fact that this is way lower than the five hundred thousand children that are actually in need of an education and even the squats that the governor is opening are not being filled because people can't actually get to them and so that's really the root problem here that neither the lebanese government or the international donors have addressed so far. the poor living conditions forced many to try to move on as is evident every day at the german embassy in beirut for example. the syrians lining up at the entrance one to join their families in germany. they've waited six months for their appointments they're here with high hopes but most of them don't have the necessary documents which are hard to obtain it's a nerve wracking situation. my
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husband is trying to get the papers i need from germany. he's been trying for years . i will not in law they keep sending me away because some documents are missing. it drives me crazy to always have to travel here i have a home because me a lot of trouble i'm suffering every day. in germany family reunification for refugees continues to be a contentious and highly charged issue it's currently suspended for most serious this family has been hoping for two years to get permission to travel to germany in the summer of twenty fifteen the sent three of their daughters on a long and arduous journey to europe.
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the parents remained in lebanon hoping that their daughters would be able to secure the family visas to enter germany one of the daughters left behind her two children five year old. and his six year old sister iowa. she's been hard of hearing since a bombardment back in syria. the uncle had a plan that their adult daughter would apply to have her two children join her and an underage daughter would apply to get her parents and other siblings permission to come. but i. don't suppose they need our identification documents but getting new ones is very expensive it would cost us eleven thousand dollars and we couldn't be sure if they were real or fake. that we'd have to send someone to syria to get us our passports
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we can't go there are selfs. going on. twenty three year old is making her daily video call she's four thousand kilometers away since leaving lebanon she talks with her children twice a day. and i saw. one of his currently living in eastern germany close to the polish border. she only has a temporary right to stay in germany like most of the syrians there. but they can feel you ask her if she speaks german. will she be able to bring her family to germany.
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why not. there are several hundred thousand people like this family eager to join their relatives in germany most attempts have failed. in the foot and we need help to get to our daughters it would be better for the children's future. there they could all go to school in a month and. if human intelligent and we can't send them to school here we can't afford it two children would have to take the bus every day. that costs far too much in germany they could all get an education and. he could contribute. and as he and i as mother tina has tried to return to lebanon but she was denied
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entry on the grounds that there were already anough syrians in the country so they remain separated. we are back in the bekaa valley near the syrian border. the owner of the residence of the camp are using the last days before the onset of winter to find a new place to live for those who can afford to move on harvest time is coming to an end soon the first snow will start to fall. forward after we arm is getting ready for school. today is a rainy day as forecast. and
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a rainy day means she can go to school. where. the days spent out on the fields are getting fewer and fewer now she has time until spring to attend school instead of working. for william it means making up the lessons she has missed over the past months. this is not a public school someone is one of a range of private organizations in lebanon that offer an education to children who can't attend regular schools. they may not receive a diploma but they are at least getting lessons.
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all the pupils here are syrian refugees. with all of the mix here the sat if you will the fact our organization understands the family's dilemma we realize that our pupils also have to work but we always welcome them whenever they have time to attend class how that has been missed out on how we talk with the parents and try to persuade them to let the children come to us when it come up you know i haven't had that it was. the week we i'm is older than the other pupils she's missed so much schooling that she has trouble keeping up it's unclear whether she will ever be able to transfer to a regular school refugees especially those without legal residence are unlikely to be enrolled. at any of the been full of at the. without
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the regular schools usually demand identification papers and a residence permit but most of the refugees have neither and what the main problem is that the state schools have too few spaces for all the refugee children and i didn't mean any of this as it was as my mother had many schools still only accept pupils who are officially registered and turn the others away thank you my mom and i did a lot. to school tries to follow the official curriculum as closely as possible for all those omitted from the formal education system yet a half. two hundred fifty thousand syrian children in lebanon have never seen a classroom even though international conventions recognize the right to an education as a basic human right. and. hebron
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would much rather go to school than work but i can only come here when it rains or when there is no work on the field so that's the only time i can come to school. last year well you know matthew schickel has it and the rest of. these children belong to the lucky group who have managed to get into the public school system. over. time for yourself welcomes them to her living room she fled from syria herself and she started up this class three years ago back when none of these children were enrolled at a school. today they're here for some extra tutoring. dedication sector when it comes to integers and situational support or even programatic support as one of the sectors that receives the biggest portion of funding we've had to do must have campaigns in order to explain to refugee parents that. sense of
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enrolling their children in a formal educational program or at least it and i facing difficulties in accessing lebanese public schools they can join non-form education programs that will allow them to register in school the following year. we're going to have. time for yourself worked in a bank in aleppo before she came to love and on seeing the desperate plight of these children prompted her to take up teaching. so she started off with four pupils now there are thirteen. she gets funding from international groups organized by a french teacher. the classroom materials are likewise paid for by donations. the for the. unfortunately international conversation has already moved on and so we're
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now seeing a lot of talk of what's going to happen with the rebuilding of syria on the return of refugees. and correspondingly a decrease in the mount of money that's coming into lebanon to support this crisis i mean this is really the generation that's supposed to be rebuilding syria if this war stops and they're able to go home and if kids don't have an education if you have literally hundreds of thousands of children who grow up without an education that will have enormous ramifications in the future. ramifications for their native syria and also their lebanese hosts and the wider world. leave the bear with us for their services so from there they are a lost generation. by generation rant of their youth and facing the burden and hope of making syria once again a land was an optimistic future.
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