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One million children have fled Syria since be -

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PETER LLOYD: Well another grim milestone has been reached in the two-and-a-half year conflict that has gripped Syria. The United Nations says 1 million children have now fled over the border to escape the violence.

UN agencies for refugees and children both estimate another 2 million children are displaced inside the Syrian territory and at least 7,000 have been killed.

For those who have fled, most are in refugee camps in neighbouring countries and a handful have resettled here in Australia.

Sarah Hawke reports.

(Sound of people talking)

SARAH HAWKE: It's time for coffee at the home of Abdul Qadoura in the Western Sydney suburb of Lurnea. Sitting among the family is his son Mohamad and his new wife Ruba.

Ruba's also part of a statistic stemming from Syria's bitter conflict. She's one of 1 million that have fled the country as a child.

Last November when she was 17, Ruba and her family left their home near Damascus as the bitter fighting intensified.

Mohamad interprets for Ruba.

MOHAMAD: A rocket came down, they were playing something in the streets and then a rocket came down and hit the two family members at the same time with another two friends.

(Ruba speaking)

And then there was a lot of people with guns and then it just broke loose. So they took off, they started taking a taxis or something to the border.

SARAH HAWKE: Mohamad worries about how his wife's coping with what she experienced. She's also anxious about her parents and siblings who are still in Lebanon.

MOHAMAD: Yeah, she worries a lot.

SARAH HAWKE: While Ruba was 17 when she fled, many of the children are so much younger.

According to the UN, nearly 77 per cent are under the age of 11. Andrew Harper heads the UNHCR in Jordan, which is housing over half a million refugees.

ANDREW HARPER: Often toddlers are making their way across the border and that's probably one of the most heart-breaking situations that we're seeing, probably 20 per cent of the entire population - less than four-years-old. Again these are statistics, but when you talk about 500,000 people you're getting close to having almost 100,000 toddlers.

SARAH HAWKE: How difficult is it in the camps for the children?

ANDREW HARPER: Devastating for many of them. Kids are kids, so they get on with lives but at the same time they've never really… many of them have never travelled outside their villages or towns before and all off a sudden they faced significant violence, either through air raids or artillery or having family members being killed.

But I think one of the challenges that we do have is being able to explain to them when they're likely to go home and that's a question which no-one can answer.

SARAH HAWKE: As the camps swell, refugee and Syrian advocates are urging Australia to allow in more Syrian refugees. Nearly 2,000 humanitarian visas have been issued since September to Iraqis who have fled into Syria and were caught up in the conflict.

Sydney orthopaedic surgeon Tamer Kahil is president of Australians' for Syria Association. He questions why others weren't considered.

TAMER KAHIL: Very disappointed, either from the practice of the government or from those who administer the orders of the government. To my understanding, only 90 have been admitted to Australia and they are from a certain sect and a certain area from Iraq.

SARAH HAWKE: The government says it's provided visas to the most vulnerable. It's also given significant aid to agencies dealing with the refugee crisis.

With no end in sight, to the conflict the UN is preparing for tens of thousands of more children.

Through her husband, I asked Ruba about their plight.

MOHAMAD: ‘Cause she's seen it, how it is, so they can't stay there, it's obvious they can't stay there, fleeing is better than getting killed.

PETER LLOYD: That's Mohamad and Ruba Qadoura speaking with Sarah Hawke, our reporter in Sydney.