Human Rights

Children Formerly Under ISIS Are Suffering From A Psychological Crisis

Iraq

Children who lived in formerly ISIS-controlled territories grew accustomed to violence and aggressive behaviour, leading to dangerous psychological consequences.

The children of ISIS, who are now displaced in camps throughout both Iraq and Syria, are a primary cause of concern for the authorities. Thousands of children who lost their jihadist mothers and fathers in the clashes now have no caretakers and no vision for their future.

According to Save the Children an international NGOs, children who have been rescued from the fighting are now experiencing psychological disorders due to the events that they have witnessed. From bombings to beheadings, to carrying out executions, many children of ISIS are now in dire need of psychological help to rehabilitate them from the things that they have been taught and seen.

The Save the Children NGO said that it is seeing many of these children living with anxiety, isolation, aggression, nightmares and involuntary urination. Furthermore, the children continue to show signs of distrust and fear towards others attempting to help them.

According to observers, these issues are due to the brainwashing that was imposed on them by the militant group, which in some cases forced many children to work as spies against their parents. Furthermore, the militant group’s youth club, the “Cubs of the Caliphate”, also taught many children fighting and execution skills that they then carried out against other civilians and dissenters.

During the late stages of ISIS’ “caliphate”, the militant group also began using children on the battlefronts due to the lack of men remaining to fight. This has caused many children to witness and participate in battles, imprinting the images of bombings, fighting, and brutality into their mind.

Despite being relocated to the displacement camps, the children have not been able to separate the reality that they are in from the battlefield.

As a result, Save the Children has stressed the importance of finding ways to rehabilitate the children quickly to reduce the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that they are suffering with on a daily basis.

Furthermore, they claimed that the children are in dire need of social health services, a sustainable and safe environment, education, and healthy family life.

If these are not provided urgently, authorities fear these children can be taken advantage of by future militant groups, who will use their feelings of marginalisation and their mental health disorders to radicalise them further, making them a considerable security risk for their countries of residence.