The Syrian refugee crisis is the humanitarian emergency resulted from the Syrian civil war that began in 2011 when the government crackdown violently on public affirmation in support of a group of teenagers who were arrested for anti-government graffiti in the southern town of Daraa. This conflict soon started to spread all over the country and killed thousands of people and torn the nation apart.
As the violence increased, the families started to flee to the neighboring countries to save their lives. Millions of Syrians have escaped across the border in search of protection and fleeing the bombs that have devastated their homes. According to UNHCR, over 5.6 million Syrian people have fled Syria since 2011. And 6.6 million have been internally displaced in the country as the war continues.
Recently, the humanitarian catastrophe flattening in northwest Syria is forcing families to flee their homes at an alarming rate. UNHCR claims, approximately 900,000 families have been deracinated from their homes in the past three months. And about 80% of them are women and children. Camps and resettlements are getting overcrowded and many are left with no choice other than sleeping outside in freezing temperature.
A prevailing majority of Syrian refugees have found safety in neighboring countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Europe. However, according to UNCHR, only 8% are accommodated in refugee camps, and others live in the urban areas of the bordering countries. Generously, Turkey hosts 3.6 million people, the largest number of Syrian refugees.
Following the current changes in war pattern, the countries have started to call for the return of the refugees to Syria in the upcoming years. The political situation in Syria is still unstable, and the violence is still extensive. The country, however, lacks the condition for a ‘safe voluntary and dignified’ return of the citizens. Several studies and surveys show that 85% of the Syrian refugees do not aspire to return to Syria in the future. Among those, some of them might be interested to go back to the country only if they could take back the possession of their home in the area of their origin. At this point, any attempt for the voluntary return of the Syrian refugees to their country seems to be unrealistic, and it should be considered with extra caution.