Western civilisation? The Unspoken Fate of Iraqi Children

August 2005 saw a report published by the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), which brought to light the growth of child prostitution, under the new liberated Iraq and how children as young as thirteen have become victims of this sexual tyranny, which the West has brought to these children’s doors.

The report states that extreme poverty has lead to an increase in gangs, who are going around and kidnapping children and forcing them into the sex trade, where hard currencies can be exchanged for the degradation of a young persons body.

On May 12th 2005, the United Nations organization which monitors drug trafficking announced that Iraq is about to become a transit station for transporting the heroine, which is manufactured in Afghanistan and is heading towards Europe through neighbouring Iran.

The problem’s faced by children, are being intensified by the growing displacement of Iraqi nationals, as a consequence of sectarian tensions. It was said by the Ministry of Displacement and Migration in June 2006, that around 40,000 Iraqi children have been displaced due to violence,

July 2006 saw another report published, claiming that from January into the reports publication saw a staggering “90” children die in Basra, due to “lack of medicine”, the number rising from the previous year, which stood at “40”.

These deaths had to be recorded by local NGO’s, as a consequence of the Iraqi Authorities having no “official statistics about the number of children who have died in Basra”. A partial explanation could be the shortages in medical staff, with unofficial records showing that around “200 health professionals having left since January”.

The Iraq Index, compiled by the Brookings Institution in Washington, released on 21 December 2006, estimated that up to 40 percent of Iraq’s professionals have fled the country since 2003, with doctors and the pharmacists topping the list.

The Association of Psychologists of Iraq have also warned about the damage, that has been caused to Iraq’s children, with “learning impediments” having been brought on by the fear of guns, bullets, death and a general “fear of the US occupation.”

The basis for this report was on the dramatic increase in parents seeking out psychological help for their children.

In September 2006, Save the Children reported that “43 million primary-age children worldwide are unable to go to school because of armed conflicts in their respective countries.”

Although most countries have signed up to the Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child, Save the Children reported that 818,000 children in Iraq, 22.2 percent of the total number of students in the country, are unable to go to school.

Over half of Iraq’s population is below 15 and even Koffi Annan was forced to admit the war and invasion of Iraq has been a “real disaster”. The “disaster” according to the Ministry of Education in September, has been “more chairs sitting empty in our country’s classrooms. This problem goes from primary education to universities,”

“Attacks and kidnapping in schools have made parents afraid that the next victims would be their children. So they prefer to let them not have a proper education until the situation improves. Others require their children to start working early because poverty has risen and their [financial] help becomes more important.”

As one child recently declared in the 9/1/2007 “I’d rather be illiterate” article, “I am 10 years old but I have not been to school for the past three years because I’m scared of the killings taking place in Iraq. Many of my friends have either been kidnapped or killed.”

Parents are not the only people who are opting out of Iraq’s deteriorating education system, with teachers being targeted and threatened by death squads and students at Baghdad University noticing that; “Ninety percent of our teachers have changed in the past two years. The ones who have come to replace them are not well prepared or have no experience, leaving us without a good professional for teaching and training,”

The Declaration on the Rights of the Child with all that the West call “civilised”, has now been completely discredited and once again, disgrace is placed on the shoulders of the occupiers by the Wall Street Journal, who have recently reported that a child as young as five, has been allowed to go on patrol with Al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army.

A five year old whose “clothes were all black, the favourite attire of a powerful Shiite Muslim militia. He introduced himself as a commander, shouted the incantation “God is greater” and warned Sunni Muslims not to fight back. With that, he raised his plastic pistol.”

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Articles by: Hussein Al-Alak

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