First Published: 2017-09-12

Iraqi Childrens Lives Matter
Not many people seem to know that Iraqi children are often traded in illegal markets run by enormous organised crime outfits, many of which have significant enough connections in governmental offices to produce fake identification documents for their products to use once purchased by a customer, explains Tallha Abdulrazaq.
Middle East Online

The reason most people are horrified when they see or hear about children being harmed or killed is because of what children represent. Children are the future. They represent our hopes and dreams, sometimes of a second chance, for a world we want to change for the better.

Parents strive hard so their children can have a better life than they themselves had. In short, children are the embodiment of humanitys hope and love.

Just as some terrorist attacks in the West garner more attention than others in the Middle East, unfortunately the same mechanics of emotional distance applies to children who we either do not identify with or are shielded from noticing by the media corporations that tell us which are worthy of compassion and outrage and which are not.

Not many people seem to know that Iraqi children are often traded in illegal markets run by enormous organised crime outfits, many of which have significant enough connections in governmental offices to produce fake identification documents for their products to use once purchased by a customer.

Children are either procured by abduction, gathered up as orphans from the endemic violence ripping the country apart or come from incredibly poor families with many mouths to feed who are offered large sums of money to part with one child to feed the rest. Families are put in an impossible situation and forced to consider losing all their children to starvation or lose one dearly loved child to save the others a situation no family should ever be put in.

Some children are purchased by other families who want to adopt illegally and who cannot navigate Iraqs notoriously difficult bureaucracy that is, in any case, tightly connected to these criminals. Others are sold from an incredibly young age into the sex trade that has spiralled out of control in an Iraq that knows very little about law, order and childrens human rights.

Journalists who searched the streets of Baghdad said the going rate for a baby girl just 18 months old is 10 million Iraqi dinars approximately $8,500. In other words, the price of destroying one of the future contributors to Iraqs future is less than the price of a second-hand car. Her life and all that means in terms of hope, opportunity and freedom will be reduced to bringing a sick and twisted pleasure to a deranged customer.

Why do we find ourselves stricken by silence and apathy in the face of Iraqi children being bought and sold like cattle by criminals who have been running amok across Iraq since the fall of Saddam Husseins regime in 2003? Why can Michelle Obama stand with placards saying Bring Back Our Girls for girls kidnapped by barbaric criminals like Boko Haram in Nigeria, yet cannot summon the moral grit to show a simple sign for Iraqi children?

Considering what has happened to Iraq since 1990 and the decades of destruction wrought upon it by the United States and its allies, one would think that at least Iraqi children would deserve their compassion and mercy. However, mainstream media outlets do not want to show their audiences, already war weary because of the US invasion, the realities afflicting the children of people not dissimilar from themselves.

Sadly, the dismantling of Iraq will continue at an accelerated pace and will be assisted by destroying its future and the innocence of several lost generations, scarred by war and abuses from which they may never recover.

Tallha Abdulrazaq is a researcher at the University of Exeters Strategy and Security Institute in England.

Copyright 2017 The Arab Weekly


Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting