UN kicks off weeklong campaign to immunize 5.8 million Iraqi children

Two United Nations agencies will support the Iraqi Ministry of Health in marking World Polio Day by launching a weeklong nationwide campaign to immunize Iraq’s children against the infectious viral disease. 

“The Government of Iraq is committed to polio eradication, and conducted 16 campaigns to that end in 2014 and 2015 as part of the Middle East Polio Outbreak response,” said Peter Hawkins, the UN International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Iraq, in a press release. 

Major campaign launched to immunize 5.8 million Iraqi children against polio

A five-day polio vaccination campaign is under way in Iraq to reach an estimated 5.8 million children below the age of five, regardless of previous vaccination status. Marking World Polio Day and under the slogan “two drops can change a life,” the campaign was launched by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

At least 70 Yezidis freed from ISIS since start of Mosul offensive

At least 70 Yezidi Kurdish women and children have been freed from ISIS-controlled territories in Iraq and Syria since the start of an offensive against the militants in Mosul last week. “Over the past 10 days, particularly after the Mosul operation was launched, 70 Yezidi women and children have been freed from ISIS,” Hussein Koru, head of the Yezidi Women’s Rescue Bureau, told Rudaw. 

Jesuits help Iraqi refugee find treatment, hope

Mohamad is an Iraqi teenager who took refuge in Romania in 2014 when he was 15 years old. He had to flee because of protracted conflict in his home country that persists to this day, according to reports in the international press. 

During an attack, his parents were killed in front of him. Mohamad was shot in the legs but the surgery performed in poor conditions at a hospital in Iraq managed to worsen the situation of his wound. In 2014, Jesuit Refugee Service Romania was conducting a European Refugee Fund project delivering social assistance for refugees across the country. 

M&S and ASOS among British retailers found employing child refugees in factories

Refugee children from Syria have been found making clothes for British fashion brands in Turkey according to the Telegraph. Children as young as 15 were reportedly found working on clothes for Marks & Spencer and online retailer Asos, some working more than 12 hours a day. 

Another factory that said it made clothes for Next employed Turkish children and Syrian refugees, while other refugees were illegally working on Zara and Mango jeans, the BBC's Panorama programme found.