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Children Working in Rudimentary Oil Fields; Charities Closing in Opposition Areas

As charities leave northwestern Syria, children have to work hard and dangerous jobs, according to al-Watan.
Children Working in Rudimentary Oil Fields; Charities Closing in Opposition Areas
Children Working in Rudimentary Oil Fields; Charities Closing in Opposition Areas

The so-called Qawafel al-Khayr organization, which operates in areas occupied by the Turkish regime and its mercenaries in northern Syria, has ended its work in the northern Aleppo countryside of Jarabulus once and for all. The decision followed harassment by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries. 

In a statement posted on Facebook, the organization said, according to opposition websites: “Harassment has evolved into threats, brandishing guns at workers, and promising to attack their homes.” 

The organization said that it had opened two centers in Jarabulus and run campaigns, including “free bread and breakfasts.” The organization ended the campaigns, however, out of fear for the safety of workers and to prevent greater escalation.

According to Facebook, the organization is active in Syria, Turkey, Indonesia, Guinea, Gambia, and Tanzania. It also has some operations in Sudan and Yemen. 

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Many organizations are active in areas controlled by the Turkish occupation, where they provide many types of assistance and relief. Their services are considered emergency measures, which do not meet the needs and requirements of the displaced. 85 percent of families in areas of northwestern Syria depend on daily wages for income, and 94 percent lack the purchasing power to meet their basic needs. This hardship is due to the practices of the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries, which frustrate the people’s livelihoods and confiscate their property, in addition to monopolizing many of the requirements of daily life, which leads to an increase in their prices.

Daily life leads to higher prices 

Under previous conditions, many children in areas controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra in the Idleb governorate are forced to work hard and dangerous jobs. These jobs include working in primitive oil fields, which they work out of necessity and to secure their families’ livelihoods.

For years, opposition websites have reported that Jabhat al-Nusra-controlled areas in northwestern Syria have been using fires to burn and refine oil in a primitive way.

These primitive operations provide employment opportunities for dozens of people, including children, despite their many risks. 

Obaidah al-Safar, 15, said that he goes out at dawn every day with three friends from their homes near the city of Dana, north of Idleb, to work in primitive oil fields near the neighboring town of Termanin. 

He noted that his work in the incinerators was limited to going down into the tanks, which had been placed under the dirt, to remove impurities from within and clean them. This occurs after burning and oil filtering have been completed. 

Throughout his time at the worksite, the child witnessed the deaths of three people, including a child he worked with in the same tank.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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