While the plight of Syrians who have crossed the border into Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon is well documented, Syria’s domestic refugees are a forgotten tragedy.
Officially called Internally Displaced Persons, they are refugees who are still in Syria. Some have fled home towns which have become war-zones, others have escaped from massacre sites, yet more are homeless after their properties were demolished by the regime.
Many end up living on the streets, while others take refuge in abandoned houses or with family elsewhere in the country.
No-one can be sure how many Syrians are refugees inside their borders, but the UN and EU say the number is at least 1.5 million. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent puts the figure at 2.5 million (a figure which the UNHCR believes could be much higher), while the Local Coordination Committees estimates that between 3 million and 3.5 million Syrians are internally displaced. In other words, around one-in-six Syrians are refugees in their own country.
And that’s before we start counting the hundreds of thousands who have fled the country. And then tens of thousands dead.