The letter of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch regarding the crime against humanity through the use of Iranian Kurdish children in armed conflicts.
I want to tell you about a deep concern and a very regrettable process. An issue that, if it is not quickly put on the path of finding an international solution, will be talked about as one of the biggest crimes against humanity in the future, and future generations will blame us for not taking effective and timely action to stop it.
About 4 years ago, we became aware of a very dangerous and neglected issue by politicians, human rights activists, governments, and even the media. At the beginning, we did research and with all the limitations, we found very disturbing information.
During the tension between several Kurdish militia groups and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a significant number of children were recruited as soldiers by these parties, including the Kurdistan Free Life Party known as PJAK, the Kurdistan Freedom Party known as PAK, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, and the communist KOMALA Party have been misused for armed conflicts.
The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, where these children have all been transferred to this region, instead of confronting this dangerous process, has sometimes accompanied it.
The number of these children is estimated to be around 1,700. During the 4-year follow-up by the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch, the identity of almost a quarter of them has been accurately verified.
Mental and psychological pressures and strict restrictions, which are examples of torture, have been found to a significant extent in this regard.
We are deeply concerned about the lives of these disappeared children. Our request is to immediately return these children to their families, because the parents of these children are suffering a lot and need the support of human rights organizations.
We believe that the political atmosphere that governs this issue has caused the neglect of the important issue of human rights, so we ask all human rights activists and especially the relevant reporters to help in this way to prevent the continuation of this crime against humanity, the governments of Iran and Iraq, and especially the government Kurdistan Region of Iraq must fulfill their responsibilities because the lives of these children are in danger.
A limited number of these children who have managed to escape and return to their families have sent short videos of their situation and described these children, if you allow us to broadcast one of these videos to the audience. Also, some information about these children is documented in a book called The Lost.
In addition to sending emails to the responsible governments, including Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan Region and human rights institutions, we have also sent our reports to the Geneva Call center and they are aware of the details of the issue. Also, the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch website has published detailed information about this crime against humanity at ikhrw.com/en and is ready to cooperate in the field of children’s and women’s rights.
Thank you all for your attention