GENEVA (CNS): The most basic rights of Iraqi children have been violated repeatedly by 12 years of economic sanctions and by the US-led war, mainline Christian organisations told the UN Commission on Human Rights.
“We mourn the unjust deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children whose lives were lost for no fault of their own,” said the statement presented on April 14 at the commission’s general assembly in Geneva.
The statement was delivered by Dominicans for Justice and Peace on behalf of the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Canadian Council of Churches, the Catholic Caritas Internationalis and five Catholic religious orders.
The Christian organisations told the UN body that, in addition to the lack of food, water and medical care created by the UN-imposed sanctions and worsened by the war, they also are “extremely concerned about the harmful and long-lasting consequences … of the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium” in US bombs.
Depleted uranium, they said, “is chemically and radiologically toxic”.
Studies have shown that an increased incidence of “congenital abnormalities and defects (and) cancers in all age groups are directly related to exposure to depleted uranium, either by ingestion, inhalation or skin contact”.
The sanctions, the war and the use of weapons with long-term potential for harm, they said, violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child.