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Child-trafficking in the Green Zone

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    Child-trafficking in the Green Zone Brussells Tribunal http://www.brusselstribunal.org Dear friends, As if things aren t bad enough in Iraq. It can always get
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2008
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      Child-trafficking in the Green Zone
      Brussells Tribunal

      Dear friends,

      As if things aren't bad enough in Iraq. It can always get worse.
      Now the occupier is child trafficking inside the Green Zone.

      Dirk Adriaensens

      Member Brussells Tribunal <http://www.brusselstribunal.org/>
      executive committee

      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
      and UNESCO.

      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
      their children.



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