The song is performed by 10-year-old Syrian girl Ansam and a choir of children who have been displaced by the conflict
UNICEF has released a new song and music video performed by children affected by six years of brutal war in Syria.
The UN children’s agency said the song is a message of hope from Syria’s children - and a plea for the return of their childhoods.
The agency has described 2016 as the “worst year yet” for children in the ongoing conflict with a “drastic escalation” in verified cases of killing, maiming and recruitment of children last year.
At least 652 children were killed in the violence last year while a further 850 are reported to have been recruited to fight in the conflict – more than double the figure from 2015.
Children are been used in fighting directly on the frontlines and are “increasingly taking part in combat roles, including in extreme cases as executioners, suicide bombers or prison guards,” according to the agency.
‘Song for Syria’ is performed against the backdrop of a destroyed Syrian city by 10-year-old Ansam, a Syrian girl who was born blind, and a choir of other internally displaced children who all participate in UNICEF psychosocial programmes.
The song was written and composed by world-famous pianist Zaid Dirani, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador who donated it to the charity.
Nearly six million children now depend on humanitarian aid after six years of fighting in Syria with over 2.3 million now living as refuges in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.
UNICEF has laid out a five-point appeal to all parties holding influence in the conflict calling for:
The agency's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere described the depth of suffering facing Syrian children amidst the violence as “unprecedented.”
He said many children are “scarred for life with horrific consequences on their health, well-being and future.”
“We continue to witness the courage of Syria’s children,” he said. “Many have crossed frontlines just to sit for school exams. They insist on learning, including in underground schools.”
“There is so much more we can and should do to turn the tide for Syria’s children.”
You can donate to the children of Syria through the UNICEF website.