Iraqi Children Paying the Price

  • 23 December 2007

All segments of the Iraqi society are suffering from the slump in the security situation across the country. A new report by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that millions of Iraqi children are facing abuse, malnutrition, and lack of education. The report details distressing facts on the suffering of Iraqi children. For instance, it reports that fewer children appeared in the final exams in the last academic year, and security forces arrested as many as 1,350 children for various offences. The report added that every month about 25,000 children are displaced from their homes and are forced to take shelter with their families in other regions of Iraq because of the ongoing sectarian violence. In addition, the report states that only 28% of adults aged 17 years old pursue their studies further, whereas 40% of them, barring the Kurdish region in Iraq, are able to pass their final exams. The report states that by the end of 2007, about 75,000 children would be living in camps or temporary shelters. About 25% of these children are those who were forced to leave their homes after the bombings of Askariya shrine in Samarra in 2006.

These statistics released by the UNICEF reveal the catastrophic situation facing Iraqi children. Undoubtedly, this disaster may even worsen if the present security situation remains problematic, which constitutes the main problem facing Iraq currently. The resolution of this problem is linked to the lack of consensus among different political forces in Iraq because disagreement among these forces aggravates the situation and hampers the rebuilding of the country.

Certainly, the catastrophic situation facing Iraqi is making its children pay the price. This is part of the large-scale suffering Iraqi people are facing since the US invasion four years ago, when the country was dismantled and the widespread disorder was unleashed in the country that is continuing till the present day. This humanitarian situation is extremely dangerous because it is linked to the most vulnerable sections of society, its children.

To address this catastrophic situation, one would need a comprehensive solution for the crisis taking place in Iraq, a solution based on the establishment of a national agreement among all political movements in order to  rebuild a new Iraq on the basis of unity, democracy and national independence. Until this agreement is reached, international organizations would continue their work of rescuing Iraqi children from the disasters they are confronting at present.