Should children be punished for the sins of their parents? Or perhaps we could ask: should children be sentenced for the crimes of their parents? How does one’s parent’s belonging to a terrorist group justify that s/he be denied the right to education, notably if s/he is a child? However, this is exactly what is going on in Iraq where authorities have barred several children from school on grounds of their parents being part of the terrorist group called ISIS. This, however, is not the best way to combat terrorism and to make matters worse it falls short of democratic standards.
Human Rights Watch has the story.
The Iraqi government is denying thousands of children whose parents have a perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation of their right to access an education, Human Rights Watch said today. The children, who were born or lived in areas under the control of ISIS between 2014 and 2017, lack the civil documentation the Iraqi government requires for school enrollment and the government is making it difficult for them to acquire it.
A September 2018 document signed by senior Education Ministry officials endorsed a discussion that appears to allow children missing civil documentation to enroll in school. But officials are instructing school principals and aid groups providing support services for education that undocumented children are still barred from enrolling in government schools.
“Denying children their right to education because of something their parents might have done is a grossly misguided form of collective punishment,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It undermines any potential government efforts to counter extremist ideology by pushing these children to the margins of society.”
See full story here.