The Situation of Children in Iraq
Children in Iraq still suffer from the consequences of collective oppression and genocidal activities directed against the civilian population. While some of these young victims continue to be subjected to atrocities such as terrorism or kidnapping, others are affected by the intergenerational transmission of trauma experienced by their parents.
Almost every child in Northern Iraq is growing up in a family affected by severe human rights violations. Most of today's parents have not had the possibility to mourn their losses and recover from their traumatic experiences. Children living in survivor families therefore frequently become victims of aggression, abuse and effects of intergenerational conflict and dysfunctional family structures produced by collective trauma.
As a consequence, children and adolescents suffer from a wide range of behavioral disturbances and trauma-related stress reactions such as sleep disorders, agitated and hyperactive behavior, social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, as well as developmental and eating disorders.
Our Services for Children and Youth
In 2009, the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights established a program for traumatized children and adolescents in North Iraq. Young victims of human rights violations are offered an integrated program including rehabilitation, outreach services, and human rights education as well as services in juvenile prisons.
Our multidisciplinary teams of medical doctors and pediatricians, therapists and pedagogues offer
- age-specific medical diagnostics and treatment
- age-adapted therapy using approaches of play, music and art therapy
- group interventions
- family counseling
- counseling for professionals working with children and youth
Each year, about 700 children and adolescents and numerous family members directly benefit from these services. The chief objective of this program is to defend and promote children's rights as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, namely their right to be protected from violence and abuse, to gain access to human rights education, and to obtain rehabilitation.
Our work for children and adolescents has been generously funded by Misereor.