An Iraqi boy reacts after seeing his sister and both of his parents killed in the car, in Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005
As we bring Freedom and Democray at the point of a gun!
Thousands of Homeless Children in Iraq Survive by Begging, Stealing or Scavenging Garbage for Food.
Child beggars are a common sight in the streets of Baghdad
Ahmed said he would rather beg than steal and that he had started begging before his parents died because they were a poor family. He said his mother died in Fallujah in August 2004. She was visiting her parents when their house was bombed by US-led coalition forces.
His father fell ill and could not work so he sent his children out to beg. If they did not come home with enough money, he would beat them, Ahmed said. His father died of kidney failure in April 2005
Only four years ago, the vast majority of these children were living at home with their families.
Many of those we are have been fighting, since we invaded, are the children who have grown since the first Gulf War and through the years of Sanctions, the ones who survived!
Azhar al Haidari, 47, center, is an Iraqi refugee in Damascus, Syria. While her two daughters, Inam, left, and Mary, are excelling in school, their older brothers are illiterate because they've been out of class for so long
Illiteracy is spreading rapidly among refugee children from Iraq, with at least 300,000 young Iraqis not attending school in the countries where their families have sought safety.
"The last time my kids were in school was 2003, right before the American invasion," said Hanaa Majeed, 32, an Iraqi refugee in Damascus who can't afford to send her two sons to school. "They can barely read. I buy books and try to teach them at home, but it's not the same. My boys see other kids with backpacks on, going off to school, and they ask why they can't go, too."
Education is a point of pride for Iraqis, the descendants of civilizations that invented cuneiform, one of the world's first writing systems.
Over 1.6 million children under the age of 12 have become homeless in Iraq, according to the country's Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. That's almost 70 percent of the estimated 2.5 million Iraqis who are homeless inside the country.
"There are no reliable estimates of how many orphans and abandoned children are in Iraq today but we believe, according to some data collected by local NGOs, that over 8,000 children are in the same or a similar situation to that of Faleh," Mayada said.
Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, more than two million Iraqis have fled to neighbouring countries, with Jordan (500,000-750,000) and Syria (1.2-1.4 million) hosting the greatest numbers.
Demanding of our attention and action today is the terrible plight of Iraqi refugees, both those outside the country and internally displaced persons (IDPs). They number to date a fifth of the Iraqi population.
This tragic human dislocation has been created by the active violation of the UN Charter and other aspects of international law. This violation was demonstrated during the American terrorism of "Shock and Awe", and the invasion of sovereignty, disruption of culture, destruction of civilian infrastructure that it entailed and epitomised. Irreparable damage to society and fundamental human rights has ensued. This outrageous unprovoked act of aggression brought to Iraq yet again the horrors of war. Bush and Blair's pre-emptive strike has led to the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Current credible estimations put the figure at over one million since 2003.
Over and above massive loss of civilian life, is the tragic consequence of refugees. It is estimated some 4.7 million children, women and men have been forced from their homes and have fled -- some displaced within and some outside Iraq. More that 20 per cent of the entire population have been brutally uprooted by the violence of this war of aggression -- a war crime for which the US-UK, along with others, must be held responsible.
Of these refugees, and those who haven't fled, many are the children, the children who we have stripped of their childhood! Those that are still in the War Ravaged Country of Iraq will try and maintain some semblance of chilhood activities, but their games of pretend are carried out amoung the devestation and destruction around them. And much of their pretend activities are the acting out of the forces of destruction they have witnessed, the only thing they know.
The Iraqi government, eager to claim credit for the decline in violence, offers returnees free transportation to Iraq, provides protection to the bus convoys and gives families $800 each to help with resettling.
But American and U.N. officials warn that a big return of refugees could rekindle sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites and that some returnees have found their homes occupied by members of the other Muslim sect. Even the Iraqi government acknowledges it cannot handle a huge influx.
Most returnees did so because they were running out of money or because their visas had expired, states the report, with less than 15 per cent found to be returning because they believed the security situation had improved.
Recent visa restrictions in both Syria and Jordan have made it virtually impossible for new refugees to gain access to either country, and in Syria in particular, Iraqi refugees now find it hard to remain. By being denied work permits, Iraqis across the region are rapidly depleting their savings and are facing ever-worsening economic conditions.
More than 4.5 million Iraqis — a fifth of the population — have been displaced inside and outside their country due to the sectarian policies of the occupation and the governments it has installed since the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003
The international community, the occupation powers, and the government in Iraq are legally required to support and protect Iraqi refugees
Iraqi refugees are Iraqi citizens who have a full right to live in dignity, a right to benefit equally from national resources, and a right to return to their homes
The UN Security Council, as the highest body of the UN, has the power and legal duty to ensure that the needs of Iraqi refugees are met by passing a resolution to require that the Iraqi state allocate proportionate revenue to responsible agencies and hosting countries
Visit above site and sign their Petition: Humanity is in distress in Iraq. Our moral responsibility is to save it. Join us.
And follow the many links given!
Most of those who led the charge to War, and their supporters, try and lay the blame for what some of these children will, or already have, do on others who they say entice these children into violence and violent acts. These children don't need to be pushed nor taught, their anger and the life forced on them shapes what many will become, and it only takes a few, but there will be more than just a few. Those who lay the blame on others fear their own guilt that eventually will catch up to them!
And this is only about the Children of Iraq. How about the Children of Afganistan, or Darfur, or Palestine, or the many many other troubled spots on this planet! The disenfranchised have been rising up from the failed policies practiced by the powerful, leaving legacies of destruction to come!