Even after so many years after the war, about 9 million people in Iraq need humanitarian assistance. Millions of people still need safe water. About 3 million people are now displaced and they need to be brought back home. It is expected that there will be a reduction in the armed violence in Iraq. The children in Iraq are in the most vulnerable state. Here are some of the major problems they are facing today.
A large population in Iraq lives under the poverty line. About 3.5 million children are affected by poverty in Iraq. For this reason, these children cannot even enjoy their basic rights.
After the war, the health of the children in Iraq is severely affected. The mortality rate of children less than 5 years old is increasing. Millions of children are suffering from malnutrition. The mental health of these children is also bad. They suffer from panic, fear and other mental traumas.
Though the education in Iraq is free for children under the age of 12, there is lack of proper facilities. The classrooms are overcrowded and the children are being deprived of quality education. Children who are displaced or disabled, cannot get access to education at all. The unstable political condition is Iraq has led to the closing down of several schools, thus hampering children’s education.
Discrimination and abuse
The free education and other government facilities are only received by children whose parents are Iraqi. The others have to pay for these services. The children are also victims of physical and psychological violence. Many authorities use violence as a means of enforcing the order. The parents also adopt these methods to teach discipline to their children. The children observe these and learn such abusive acts themselves.
Exploitation by armed groups
Children are joining the armed groups and terrorist networks. They are exploited and they often take part in attacks against the civilians.
Iraq has a large number of orphans. Lots of lives have been lost in the war and it is estimated that about one in every six Iraqi people is orphan. There is no scope for adoption as the Iraqi law doesn’t allow it.
Children start earning money from a very young age. They do this in order to meet their basic needs. A large number of children beg on streets or sell cigarettes. They don’t go to schools and so remain uneducated.
It is a major problem in Iraq. The young girls are trafficked. They are either sold as servants or forced to work as prostitutes.
There are camp services available like sanitation facilities, water supply, schools, etc. for the displaced children; however, these facilities are expensive. Children need psychological and other health-related support to lead a good life in this post-war zone.