For the Day of the Iraqi Child, UNICEF reaffirms its commitment to protect the rights of children in Iraq
Nationwide consultations to improve child protection being initiated
Baghdad, 16 July 2011. In commemoration of the death of dozens of children from a car bombing on July 13th, 2005, UNICEF reaffirms its commitment to protect and promote the rights of Iraq's 16 million children on the occasion of this year's Day of the Iraqi Child.
According to the UN’s monitoring and reporting mechanism for grave violations of children’s rights in Iraq, 49 children have been killed and a further 169 injured in various incidents across Iraq in 2012. Thirteen attacks affecting access to health and education facilities and personnel have also been confirmed. In 2011, 84 children were killed, 130 injured and 29 attacks affecting access to health and education facilities and personnel confirmed.
“UNICEF remains very concerned about the continuing grave violations committed against children in Iraq and calls on all actors to cease indiscriminate acts of violence that harm children” stated Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq.
Working closely with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Child Welfare Commission, UNICEF is supporting the Government of Iraq to develop a Child Protection Policy and Child Law to better protect children in Iraq. To enable children, families and communities to participate in the development of the policy and law, a nationwide consultation process on child protection issues is being initiated.
“It is imperative that no child is subject to discrimination or exclusion from their fundamental rights” said Dr. Babille. “All children, especially the millions who are being left behind, deprived of several of their rights, must be urgently protected.”
The consultations will take place in the coming months via focus group discussions, meetings, workshops and conferences in all 18 governorates. Citizens wishing to participate can also do so via an electronic consultation system including websites, social media platforms and online polls.
Issues that will be given specific attention include children in conflict with the law, working children, displaced children and children living with disabilities and without parental care. Discrimination and gender-based violence, particularly early and forced marriage, as well as the impact of violence against children in the context of armed conflict will also be addressed.