by Dom the Conservative, Mad World
As Syrian civilians struggle on the streets of their war-torn cities, refugees have sought sanctuary in neighboring Lebanon. These Muslim refugees are finding that life in Islamic Lebanon is unwelcoming, leaving them in severe poverty.
To make an income, many Muslim families have begun doing the unfathomable: temporarilyselling their children to pedophiles to be sexually abused.
Other families have resorted to selling their children’s organs for a profit:
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Because of the poverty, and uneducated families, [Syrians] will do anything to survive and make money… So you will see we have rape cases arranged by the family, like pedophilia. Some kids were raised to be organ donors by their families, as if they are spare parts. There are also many prostitution rings because of the Syrian crisis. There’s a lot of desperation.
The more fortunate children are employed, but still suffer abuse from adults:
“They sell roses, beg for money, clean your windscreen, sell chewing gum — sometimes they sell themselves,” said Maher Tabarani, director of the Home of Hope charity, which takes care of street children.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are more than 400,000 child refugees from Syria currently in Lebanon, more than the population of Lebanese children in public schools.
“Children selling goods on the streets are extremely vulnerable to violence, robbery, sexual abuse and exploitation, also through sex rings and even illegal organ trade,” UNICEF’s Azar said. “Children on the streets are also at risk of prey by child trafficking networks.”
But these children aren’t without hope. The few Christian missionaries who still remain in Lebanon have opened their homes and businesses to them.
A young boy named Mustafa was saved by the Home of Hope mission after he ran away from his abusive father. The 14-year-old boy was sleeping on the streets when a man attempted to rape him. Miraculously, Mustafa was able to fight the man off. He was later arrested and brought to the Christian center:
“I like it here,” said Mustafa, who said he wants to be a computer engineer. “If I wanted to leave I could have. I’m studying here, and I have a place to sleep. When I sleep on the streets in Beirut, I don’t know people. I can defend myself, but I feel better here.”
90 percent of the children at the Home of Hope are non-Christian, but are not compelled to attend or participate in religious services. They are free to worship as they choose.
The home also provides education, including English classes.