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Human Rights Law

: Never In Our Names

The Children Suffer in Pakistan War

By possum

In Pakistan's Swat Valley, many are being displaced by the ravages of ongoing war.  Among the refugees are many children who may have been separated and reunited with their parents or who may remain separated.  The trauma of war and post-traumatic syndrome may be seen in many of their faces.

AP Image

The Jalala refugee camp run by a Pakistani charity, The Hayat Foundation and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) offers a safe refuge from the war zone.

All the children here been through some sort of psychological trauma. The common cause is separation anxiety.  In the rush to leave the Swat Valley, many children simply lost their parents.
Many were aided by friends or friendly faces.  The trauma of separation remains if or not the children were reunited in the camp.
We are seeing post-traumatic stress disorder; children are having nightmares of helicopters and fighter jets [and] they talk about the Taliban constantly.
And not only the children suffer.
Adults suffer from boredom and frustration in the camps. Boredom because they have been torn from their routines, frustration because they cannot return.
With nearly 1.5 million refugees there is not room in the camps for all in need.  Many live outside in private accomodations.
Mirabadi Village - just outside of Islamabad - is a slum village. It's dusty, with narrow cobbled streets, open sewers and poor house workers. The type, although not Pakistan's poorest, that have little.
 Still within the country public support for the war holds.
The Taliban are offering nothing - no new ideas, no way out.
As the fight for control continues day by day, more and more people are leaving homes in search of a safe haven.  The suffering shows no sign of finding an end.


Full post as published by Never In Our Names on May 25, 2009 (boomark / email).

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