Save the Children statement on the war in Iraq

News and Press Release
Originally published
Save the Children is deeply concerned that the war now underway in Iraq will have devastating consequences for the safety, security and well-being of children. Children will suffer disproportionately, either through the direct impact of warfare or from the inevitable deterioration of an already serious humanitarian situation.
Save the Children is dismayed that the international community has failed in its attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Now that military strikes have begun, Save the Children strongly urges the warring parties to uphold their obligations in regards to the protection of civilian populations (Article 48 and 50 of Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions ) and to refrain from using military ordnance that harms civilians or which are specific threats to children (such as cluster bombs). The must also uphold their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (in particular Article 38).

Save the Children urges that:

a. The warring parties guarantee full and secure access to affected populations for adequate humanitarian supplies;

b. There is a clear separation between impartial humanitarian action and the role of the military;

c. The international community effectively and coherently respond to the humanitarian and reconstruction needs in Iraq;

d. The humanitarian response should include a specific component to address the needs and rights of children;

e. Neighbouring states uphold their obligations to accept refugees.

Save the Children is one of the largest and most experienced of the Non-Governmental Organisations that work in Iraq. We are actively preparing to address the serious humanitarian situation as soon as there is access. In particular, we will play a special role in protecting vulnerable children and meeting the most critical needs of children, their families, and their communities.