A Forgotten Proportion: The Child War Victims

By Hanar Marouf:

Whereas children must get worried about which toy shall they buy or which book shall they read, whereas parents should be busy with offering warm and safe couches, whereas winter and raining must be greeted optimistically without worrying, the Islamic State has led to people being perturbed and concerned for every second of their lives. Recently, a picture was published by some reliable agencies about Der Alzur in Syria where three children were innocently playing on the side of a street, while hanged beheaded bodies were on display at the other corner of the street. A very young boy in pink trousers puts his hand on his head, looking muddled. He does not know whether what he sees is a normal view that each street must have, or if he is still dreaming in his comfy bed.

Heads on the street with children playing, what kind of a generation could that produce? What do children learn from their limited world when forced to perceive adults’ grim world? When a child gets used to seeing beheaded bodies while practicing his normal activities, what could that lead to? Do the international agencies shy away from covering such topics? If this picture was in another, “developed” country, the whole world would talk about it, international human rights organizations would have actions, protests, and other proceedings to stop the brutal inhumanity acts. However, let’s not forget that we are still in a very isolated spot in the world.

The situation is no longer under the local organizations’ control; the powerful international non-governmental organizations must act instantly. Human rights theory was first presented after WWII when the world had experienced ruthless fighting, however it was still not as immoral as it is now. The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris in 1948 to succor the affected civilians. Children of the catastrophe of the Vietnam War, from 1955-1975, are still suffering from what they faced. Some of them became gang members and ended up in jails, others never met their fathers again, and girls agonized from living with new families and having a hard time forgetting what had happened to them. Now, in the 21st century, colossal heartless acts are proliferating and violence will be passed from one generation to another if we won’t stop it. Where are the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch? The planet will face a giant threat in the future if responsible NGOs neglect providing psychologists for the suffering children in Syria and Iraq.

Reference: Lamb, David. “Children of the Vietnam War.” SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE 2009. Web. 13 Nov 2014.

Hanar Marouf is a human rights activist based in Suli and an MA student in Politics and International Relations

One Response to A Forgotten Proportion: The Child War Victims
  1. Jan Best de Vries
    November 15, 2014 | 07:36

    Dear Hanar Marouf,
    Still a foreign Peshmerga in training (my teacher being Azad Kardoi), I associate Suli with Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, so there´s undoubtedly a lot more to learn for me. However, as for the poor children, I remember that when the town of Celle (Germany) was bombed in 1944 and everywhere houses were burning alight, I thought that the many bodies laying on the sidewalk were just sleeping and that I was told to cross the street just because I should not awake these people. What I mean to say is that, being a young child at the time, one fortunately realizes only much later the impact of the grim reality one has witnessed and that my main problem as a small child then was that there weren’t any cookies to get…. You know, at the end of your life you just decide to travel in December to the eastern canton of Rojava in the hope to be there of any help to preserve the building of the Mesopotamia Academy against the Islamitic or whatever else state and that’s it. By the way, before my soulmate died, I had a wonderful life, so don’t worry too much! These children will make later their own decisions when they fight for democracy.

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