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Gaza’s Out Of School Children Face Increased Dangers in Overcrowded Shelters

The ongoing war in Gaza has led to an overcrowded population of women and children in shelters.

Palestinians flee south on the third day of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas at Salah al-Din road in central Gaza Strip on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The International Rescue Committee has warned that out of school and living in overcrowded shelters, children in Gaza face a heightened risk of violence, exploitation and abuse.

They explained the current state of those children that “they are not only being denied their childhood, but are also experiencing extreme trauma.”

The emergency child protection coordinator for IRC, Ulrike Julia Wendt, highlighted the vulnerability of young girls to early or forced marriages.

Wendt, who recently returned from a trip to Gaza stated, “If the war goes long and education remains interrupted with no guidance, many will grow up without understanding their health and rights and potentially leading to the normalisation of gender-based violence.”

She added that in overcrowded shelters, women are particularly susceptible to mistreatment, encompassing both physical violence and sexual exploitation.

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