Children in Idlib’s IDPs camps deprived of their right to play

Displaced children face many challenges due to the overcrowded IDPs camps and the lack of a safe space. Displaced mothers demand a playground be built for their children.


Idlib- Children living in IDPs camps, northern Idlib, have been deprived of their right to leisure, play, and participation in cultural and artistic activities. These children grow up in these camps without having any opportunities due to the war.

29-year-old Salwa Al-Baraami has a five-year-old son named Musab. “Whenever he goes out, I worry about him. I think that bad things will happen to him. I cannot stop him from going outside. He cries when I try to prevent him. I know he wants to go out and play with his friends; however, there is no safe space or playground for children.”

‘Our children face all types of injustice’

Children in the camps have the right to play in a safe space and playground to use their imagination, Salwa Al-Baraami said, “However, they face all kinds of violation and marginalization because they are displaced children. Children are deprived of any right to life in the camps. Our children cannot go out and play freely like other children in the world. Our children face all types of injustice.”

‘Children are not safe’

32-year-old Najwa Al-Alam thinks that children living in IDPs camps are not safe. “We want our children to feel safe while playing. We demand safe spaces for our children so that they can participate in cultural and artistic activities. Every camp should have a playground for children. Our camps are not suitable for winter and summer. Puddles are formed whenever it rains. I do not allow my children to go out when it rains. We demand at least a playground for children in every camp. Funds should be allocated to build playgrounds in IDPs camps for children.”

Children need safe spaces to forget what they have been experiencing

Play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children, said psychologist Lama Haj Bakr. “Through play, children can express their feelings and learn to cope with emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear. Play is an important element of a child's life and it helps children learn to ask questions, how to communicate and cooperate.”

Pointing out that the camps have no safe spaces and playgrounds for children, Lama Haj Bakr said, “War, living in overcrowded camps, fear and displacement have negative effects on children. Displaced children living IDPs camps need safe spaces to cope with the war, fear and displacement they have been experiencing.”