Watching BriefChild Protection 28.08.03.doc - IRAQ WATCHING BRIEFS CHILD PROTECTION July 2003 IRAQ WATCHING BRIEF CHILD PROTECTION Prepared by Josi

Watching BriefChild Protection 28.08.03.doc - IRAQ WATCHING...

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Executive Summary Prior to 1990 , Iraq had developed a first system of laws and institutions for the protection and rehabilitation of vulnerable children such as orphans, children with disabilities, street/working children and juvenile delinquents. Interventions were mainly institution-based. The number of children with protection needs seems to have been limited under the conditions of the Iraqi welfare state yet precise information is not available. The northern Kurdish governorates encountered first larger scale CP problems in the 1980s due to their conflicts with the central government. The Gulf War 1990 and the economic embargo led simultaneously to a large scale increase of the number of children with special protection needs, especially street/working children and orphans, and to a devastating depletion of human and material resources in the services sector. Laws could no longer be enforced and resources for the creation of adequate responses to new CP needs were nearly nonexistent. Both the central government and the local Kurdish authorities had to concentrate first of all on the pressing survival needs of the whole population and did not pay attention to the special needs of vulnerable children. Since the mid-1990s, conditions for CP improved slightly in northern Iraq due to the activities of local and international NGOs and their collaboration with local authorities and UNICEF. UNICEF was the first to answer to the needs of many Iraqi children in distress in the early 1990s by training teachers in psychological support and establishing psychological counselling centres. Diakonia Sweden joined this effort in 1994 and built solid technical capacity for identifying and treating children’s distress and trauma in the northern Kurdish governorates. In 1997, international NGOs such as EM/DH and SFC-UK were the first to become active for the benefit of street/working children in both central and northern Iraq. Following Iraq’s report about the implementation of the CRC in 1996 and the concluding observations of the CRC committee in 1998, CP became subject of an official dialogue between the government and UNICEF in central Iraq and between local Kurdish authorities, UNICEF, international and local NGOs in the north. After a sensitive confidence-building phase, plans were agreed upon to improve the national technical capacity in CP, review the existing legislation in the light of international standards and to strengthen CP strategies that promote prevention, early detection and interventions in the children’s immediate family and community. The material and human resources for this undertaking remained extremely limited under the OFFP and were mainly funded by other parties.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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