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Violence Scarring Iraqi Children

As would be expected, Iraqi children living in Jordanian camps report witnessing gruesome events related to the war. These sorts of trauma leave indelible marks on children’s social and emotional development. According to a World Vision report Trapped! The Disappearing Hopes of Iraqi Refugee Children, “43 per cent of children surveyed in Amman, Jordan witnessed violence in Iraq, and 39 per cent said they lost someone close through violence.”

I can’t imagine how it would be to grow up in a war zone or have to flee your home for a refugee camp. Even as refugees, the children do not feel safe. Electronic Iraq reports, “‘These children have been kidnapped and held for ransom, witnessed brutal home invasions, suicide bombings and murders. Now refugee life offers them little option but to go to work as child laborers, exposing them to the threat of deportation,’ said Ashley Clements, author of the report. Understandably, 25 per cent of the Iraqi refugee children World Vision surveyed did not feel safe in their Jordanian homes. This is a combination of past experiences, lack of refugee status, which leaves the entire family unsure, and the absence of healthy routines like going to school, the report says.”

Studies have shown that one caring adult can help children develop resiliency to overcome dire situations. For Iraqi children, education offers such respite, although the infrastructure of Jordan is already overburdened. There are two million children displaced by this war (not all in Jordan). We need to end this thing now for their sake.

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    I think this is such an important topic that not everyone really thinks about. I think that I am guilty of it. I can’t even imagine what life is like for children over there. It is sad that they can’t have the simple respite of going to school. I saw on the news that majority of children do not attend school because of how dangerous it is. This war needs to end. Not just for the many political reasons.. but for the many lives that are being affected who didn’t get a choice.

  2. I really wish it was possible to take some of the extremely selfish, over pampered, ungrateful teenagers I go to school with and put them in this sort of situation for a couple weeks.

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