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Carr Center > Measurement & Human Rights > People > Internships


Previous internship projects

Child protection in war zones - UNICEF Iraq



For UNICEF Iraq, student Kristel Tonstad investigated child protection in war zones. She interviewed US Army Officers who had been deployed in Iraq and former Iraqi government and health officials regarding the situation of children in violent regions of the country. With a grant from the Carr Center, she traveled to Amman and interviewed child protection officers and other humanitarian personnel. She conducted a review of Iraqi laws and policies affecting children and examined child protection policies in neighboring countries.

Her policy analysis (PAE) concerns what may be done to protect children in Iraq from violence, abuse and exploitation. Though the paper makes recommendations for child protection in the aftermath of the war and in the long-term, the focus is on immediate interventions. These include increased monitoring and reporting regarding the situation of children; publicizing the harm of children in the war; training Iraqi armed forces to avoid any engagement, exploitation or targeting of children in combat. Recommendations in the aftermath of the war and less violent locations center on reuniting families; establishing child protective services and child and family services; strengthening the Child Welfare Commission; and drafting and enforcing an Iraqi Child Protection Act. The priority, however, should be to arouse public opinion in the Middle East and in the international community to call for an urgent end to sectarian violence on behalf of Iraq's children - the future of Iraq.

Read Kristel's paper here.

  kristel head shot
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