March 29, 2021 – In a new policy brief released today, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict examines challenges facing children allegedly associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The brief highlights the lack of a national strategy or legal framework to guide the Government of Iraq’s response to children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups. It concludes that children who were recruited and used by the armed group have not received the recovery and reintegration support they need to successfully return to civilian life in Iraq.

The 26-page policy brief, Bridging the Gap: Bringing the Response to Children Formerly Associated with ISIL in Iraq in Line with International Child Protection Standards, provides a list of targeted recommendations to the Government of Iraq; the Iraqi Federal and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Parliaments; Iraqi ministries; international donors; UN agencies; and foreign governments with child nationals accused of ISIL affiliation.