Case 04-2015: ISIS
Legal Requirement on the Rights of the Child in Iraq
January 7, 2018
The International Buddhist Ethics Committee & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights legally requires the State of Iraq to immediately annul the parliamentary amendment draft that removes the minimum age of 18 years for the marriage of women, since this project implies an endorsement of sexual violations to underage girls, which will constitute a crime against humanity as it is a systematic and widespread torture and sexual abuse. The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights warns conservative Shiite deputies who submitted such amendment on October 31, 2017, that the issue of Human Rights is above any cultural custom, which should be corrected or annulled when they violate the Natural Law or intrinsic dignity of the whole humanity. In this sense, it should continue with the legislation in force since 1959, which had transferred to the State and to its judiciary the decisions on family matters that were previously decided by the religious authorities. Thus, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights declares that the opinion of the sages (ulemas) of Shiism and Sunnism should never be mandatory for state judges who decide on issues related to the children’s rights. Even though conservatives claim that the marriage of nine-year-old girls is a millennial practice allowed in Islam, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights states that this legislative amendment is quite similar to the medieval ideology of ISIS and its cruel selling of female sex slaves, providing legal coverage for the rape of girls, as denounced by retired military Hadi Abbas.
The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights confirms that although the government of Iraq has militarily defeated the ISIS guerrilla, it must now defeat it culturally and spiritually, so in addition to expelling it from Iraqi territory it must also expel it from the hearts and minds of its citizens, since this cruel and obscurantist ideology is a real threat against the development of civilization. However, to banish this dangerous ideology, the world must have a greater degree of unity and interexistence, having to cure the main cause of such evil: poverty. In this way, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights teaches that the best way to fight against terrorism is not through war but through the education for peace, fighting humanitarianly against poverty and social injustice.
Certainly, the ISIS guerrilla took advantage of extreme poverty and the situation of destruction of the institutions of the Iraqi State as a result of the blockades and genocidal invasions of the UN and the United States, so that in view of this climate of abandonment of society, ISIS carried out a system of sexual abuse and war crimes against children in a systematic and widespread way, even committing forced disappearances, genital mutilation and sexual slavery with total impunity, as well as forcing the recruitment of minors to commit homicidal acts. UNICEF has been able to describe the situation of children under the control of ISIS as a framework of assassinations, kidnappings, forced marriages and sexual abuse. At the same time, the Road to Peace organization has confirmed that children of Mosul have been living as mice, suffering dramatic and traumatic situations as a result of living without water or food. Faced with this serious humanitarian crisis that has not yet ended, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights requires the State of Iraq to invest in shelter, appropriate food, medical care and education for the thousands of orphans or homeless children who are in a situation of gravity, instead of enacting medieval laws that violate children’s rights and turn girls into mere objects.
The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights recalls that during the 1990s more than 500,000 children died as a result of the illegal UN blockade that prevented the Iraqi population from accessing food, water and medicine, so that this blockade has been sentenced as a crime of genocide. In addition to this serious violation of human rights, the structure of the State of Iraq was almost totally destroyed during the American invasion, again producing a catastrophic environment and that was not conducive to the physical, mental and spiritual development of Iraqi children. Both the UN blockade and the US invasion have violated children’s human rights, such as the right to life, health, education, security, family and freedom in a systematic and widespread way, thus leaving almost all of the population and millions of children in a state of malnutrition, disease and absolute poverty. In fact, this process of blockade and occupation -catalogued as acts of genocide and war crimes– has been so successful with its assassinations and forced displacements that caused around 5 million children to be orphans, and even causing around 500 thousand children living on the streets without any type of home, family, medical attention, decent food and education. Therefore, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights calls for the international community to help the State of Iraq, especially its children, so that they can get out of the situation of chaos and terror that they have suffered for around 3 decades with the blockades and invasions of the UN, USA and ISIS, all of which have behaved in a criminal manner.
Always in spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Judge of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights