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Religious groups tell UN that war violates rights of Iraqi children

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 have 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 Monday 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."

Catholic News Service

Dominicans at the United Nations | Dominicans Again Express Strong Concerns about the Situation of Children in Iraq | Statement
Franciscans and Dominicans for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva
Iraqi War: Opinion (Fr Bruce Duncan, Catholic Weekly 20/4/03)
Iraq: Dominican Sisters: Situation Instable, Dangerous (Vidimius Dominum)
L'Osservatore Romano Appeals for Solidarity With Iraqi Children (Zenit)
Church in Italy Allocates Aid to Iraqis (Zenit)
People in Basra Contest Official View of Siege (Washington Post)
Vatican Aims for Reconciliation Among Nations After the War (Zenit)

17 Apr 2003