Child-trafficking in the Green Zone
- Child-trafficking in the Green Zone
As if things aren't bad enough in Iraq. It can always get worse.
Now the occupier is child trafficking inside the Green Zone.
Member Brussells Tribunal <http://www.brusselstribunal.org/>
Coordinator SOS Iraq <http://www.sosiraq.org/>
Iraqi MPs ask government to investigate child-trafficking
29 Oct 2008
BAGHDAD- An Iraqi MP stirred controversy during a Parliament session
last week when he asked Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki to investigate
the illegal activities of an international organization operating in
Iraq which is said to be selling Iraqi children to Israelis to be
used as laborers.
Although the government-owned television censored the parliament
member's remarks, the issue was shocking to all parties, the
government, the parliament and ordinary people.
In fact it was not a total surprise to the media. The issue came to
light a few days ago when a Swedish television channel aired a report
featuring a market for selling children in the heart of Baghdad. It
also showed a documentary on child sale deals in the street which
were conducted in the open and within full knowledge of the
authorities. The film examined the case of Zahra'a, a four-year-old
girl, who was sold for $US500 in an auction held in the center of the
heavily secured Green Area in Baghdad.
The film also showed a number of people in the market speaking in a
foreign language. It did not reveal their nationality nor interviewed
any of them but they are believed to be Americans and Israelis
working for suspicious organizations operating in Iraq. They are
allegedly involved in the trafficking of Iraqi children to be sold to
Human rights activists have already warned that the number of
children in Iraq is decreasing and the government is showing no
interest. The Iraqi government has done nothing to protect the
children from the spiralling violence in the country because
government officials are indulged in other issues such as power
sharing, distributing oil revenues and contending for top posts, they
Until now, there is no law in Iraq to guarantee the rights of
children although the country is a signatory to a number of
international charters on child rights. It is also a member of UNICEF
UNICEF itself said Iraqi children are paying a high price. Two
million children in Iraq are facing threats including poor nutrition,
lack of education, disease and violence, it said.
Hundreds were killed in violence during 2007, while 1,350 were
detained by the authorities, it said in a new report.
Some 25,000 children and their families have had to leave their homes
each month to seek shelter in other parts of Iraq
In a report entitled "Little Respite for Iraq's Children in 2007",
UNICEF said Iraqi children continued to pay too high a price for
their country's turmoil and that this year things had gotten worse.
The report said that about of 25,000 children per month were being
displaced from their homes as their families fled violence or
intimidation. By the end of the year, 75,000 children had resorted to
living in camps or temporary shelters.
The disruption led to extreme hardship for many children and eroded
access to education and healthcare, UNICEF said.
Many of the 220,000 displaced children of primary school age had
their education affected in a country where around 760,000 children
(17%) were already absent from primary school. Only 28% of 17-year-
olds sat for their final exams.
UNICEF said children in remote and hard-to-reach areas were
frequently cut off from healthcare and that only 20% outside the
capital, Baghdad, had working sewerage in their communities. Access
to safe water was also a serious issue.
According to a study conducted by an Iraqi NGO, there are more than
100,000 children working in the streets and they are vulnerable to
immense dangers threatening their future. Street children have become
a familiar phenomenon in Baghdad and other cities.
A study by the Iraqi organization, Child Care and Rehabilitation,
said that children are being made to work for long hours and some are
used by criminal syndicates for trickery and pick pocketing.. The
study found that many of these children were thrown into the streets
by their parents who have lost their jobs and earn a living through
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