The Islamic state, (IS/ISIS), systematically kill, rape and torture children in Iraq, a report by the Committee for Childrens Rights, says. The experts behind the report calls on government forces to do more to protect minority groups in the country.
It's about mass executions and beheadings, about children who are crucified and buried alive. Above all, children from minority groups, often Christians and Yazidis, are subjected to torture and executions. But even Sunni and Shia Muslim children suffer, the Committee writes in the report that was released yesterday.
The 18 independent experts behind the report notes that IS has been guilty of systematic sexual violence, which includes kidnapping and slavery. The Committee urges the Iraqi authorities to take all necessary means to save the children kidnapped by the Sunni terrorist organization and to prosecute the guilty.
- We are deeply concerned by the murder and torture of these children, says one expert, Austrian judge Renate Winter, to Reuters.
The report also addresses how children increasingly are being used in warfare, including as suicide bombers, bomb makers or as human shields during air strikes. In particular, children with some type of learning disability are being used.
- They probably do not even understand what it is about, says Winter to Reuters.
Henry Halvardsson, who works for Save the Children in Erbil, Iraq, said that every day he gets confirmations on how children are affected by IS warfare.
- We hear stories daily. I was in a refugee camp today and talked to parents whose children, three and four years old, were murdered by IS in front of their parents' eyes.
However, many stories are never told. Children with severe trauma who receives treatment often choose not to talk, says Henrik Halvardsson.
- In our work, we can help them to play and paint and be children again. Then it emerges. I do not know how many drawings by 4-5 year olds I've seen depicting combat vehicles, machine guns and tombstones.
What do ISIS have to achieve by targeting children?
- They want to set an example, who has control and power. They do so in a disgusting manner when using children in so many different ways that they do.
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