Charity calls on UN to remember Iraq's children

Report
from Save the Children
Published on 22 Mar 2000
Leading international children's charity Save the Children today called upon the United Nations Security Council to uphold humanitarian and human rights principles in its actions relating to Iraq. In a joint agencies open letter the charity indicated its concern at the lack of commitment within the Council to address the humanitarian situation in Iraq. This is to be discussed by the Council in New York on Friday 24 March. Save the Children's director general Mike Aaronson explains:
"Save the Children welcomes the forthcoming debate in the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Iraq but is gravely concerned that the humanitarian improvements specified in the December resolution on Iraq have yet to be fully implemented. Iraq's children can not afford to wait. There are $1.77 billion worth of contracts on hold which are vital for urgent water and sanitation work.
"Save the Children believes that there is a need for longer-term development principles in Iraq. Dependency on handouts and the continued isolation and alienation of young Iraqis is not only undermining their rights but perpetuating the next generation's hostility towards the international community. Within the Security Council however there is a continued refusal to address the core problems in the design of the sanctions regime. There is an urgent need for cash and investment in infrastructure which the UN must address. Real change for Iraq's children will only come about when they are better educated, fed, housed and protected from violence and abuse. Only this long-term focus will strengthen Iraqi civil society."

Save the Children has been active in Iraq since 1991, but now works only in Northern Iraq focusing on long term reconstruction, promoting alternatives to institutionalised care, juvenile justice and human resource development in local authorities and local NGOs.