ملجأ الحنان AL-Hanan orphanage

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الأربعاء، 2 مارس، 2011

4.5 Million Orphans in Iraq: Protests Over Food and Shelter

4 MILLION Orphan children living in Iraq (Many face abuse and live on the streets with no food)
February 24, 2011



Feb 19, 2011 - Orphans join Iraq protests over food, shelter. Orphans join protests in Iraq to call for a better standard of living. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
BAGHDAD — Fadel Mohammad Ra'ad, 10, is one of thousands of children who have lost their parents to the endless violence that has been gripping Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion.

Cruel Orphanages

Abdel-Sattar was taken to a local orphanage weeks after his mother was killed but run away after constant aggressions from the local employees.

"They hate us. They treat us like animals and the food was bad," he remembers.

"Everything was dirty and I couldn't see my sister being hurt anymore. I decided to take her and search for a place to stay. The streets are much better than that hell."

Ra'ad and his sister, who were recently moved to one orphanage in Baghdad, confirms the same pattern.

"Life here isn't easy and most people working at this place are cruel with children."

During a military raid in an area northwest of Baghdad in June 2007, US troops discovered more than twenty naked and abused boys at the al-Hanan orphanage.

A senior official at the government-run Al-Hanan told IOL all staffs have since been changed.

"Iraqi orphanages have a bad history of torture and bad treatments but we are trying to change this. However, we need huge investments to comfort these children and after that we will be able to receive more street children."

He argues that children are being looked after with more care and tenderness, though the children say otherwise.

Kareem, the sociologist, warns that many children will be left scared for the rest of their lives.

"Innocent children are paying for being part of this scenario.

"First they lose their parents and then they have to live in places with people who do not care about their psychological well-being."

4.5 Million Orphans in Iraq... Protests Over Food and Shelter
Tensions flare in Iraq rallies

Hundreds of Iraqis have converged on Baghdad's Liberation Square as part of an anti-government rally named the Day of Rage, organised mainly through the social networking website Facebook.

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