How ISIS Recruits Children

ISIS not only consist of adult soldiers and terrorist but young children as well, 11 year-old Abu Imara al Omri, for example, is one of ISIS’ many child soldiers who have died. Abu Imara al Omri was captured on footage for ISIS propaganda where he kneels down to kiss his father’s hand before he blows himself up in a truck full of explosives taking the village of Ghazl, Syria. CNN was unable to identify the authenticity of the video. Child soldiers tend to appear to be treated no differently than regular adult soldiers, CNN explains. Findings indicate that eliminating ISIS will become much more complicated seeing as ISIS’ use of child soldiers will affect how we combat against them and disarm them. Children aren’t being used to replace adult soldiers but are integrated into ISIS’ military operations—often with parental consent.

There are a variety of ways children soldiers may die while serving ISIS, CNN displayed alarming statistics showing that 39 percent died detonating a bomb on a vehicle, 33 percent were killed as foot soldiers, 4 percent killed themselves while committing mass casualty attacks, and 6 percent died as propagandists. Researchers from Georgia State University have been working with Twitter and ISIS channels on Telegram to keep track of the children’s ages, dates, and nationalities. It is suspected that ISIS is recruiting child soldiers to create and train the future generation of ISIS and describes its child soldiers as the “cubs of the caliphate.”  In a recent publication of their English language magazine, mothers of sons were encouraged to sacrifice their sons for the Islamic state handing them over to serve ISIS.

 

Flint’s Lead Poisoning

The lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan’s water was described as “state sponsored child abuse” by an outrage health expert to Nicholas Kristof. A total of 4.9 percent of children in Flint has high levels of lead however other parts of America seem to have it worse.

In New York during 2014, 6.7 percent of children also had high levels of lead, in Pennsylvania 8.5, and an alarming 32 percent in Iowa. “Lead poisoning continues to be a silent epidemic in the United States,” says Phillip Landrigan, a professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.

The poisoning of lead was delivered by the government through the municipal water system while state officials ignored and disregarded the people’s health. Health problems caused by lead poisoning is not just our nation’s problem but a problem that countries face across the world—it is especially common in low-income countries.

There are, however, anti-lead programs designed to combat lead poisoning but because of Congress these program’s funding were cut. After the public’s outcry for more funding Congress has restored some money yet these programs still have less than half of what they originally had.

Brain damage, impaired brain development, violent behavior—these are some of the many health complications lead poisoning can cause. Take for example 2 year-old Malachi who is unable to speak because of lead poisoning. Malachi will continue to live with this disability for the rest of his life, along with other children like him across the nation.

LLeading poisoning still persist in half a million in the United States partly because the majority of these children are of low-income households or are children of color. “A first step is to restore funding and improve lead poisoning screening,” says Nicholas Kristof.

“Let’s recognize the catastrophe in Flint as a wake-up call to address not just one city’s lead poisoning, but America’s,” he says.

 

 

Denmark approves Law to Take Valuables of Asylum Seekers

Recently a law was passed in Denmark which allows them to take valueables worth  $1,500 or more from Syrian refugees seeking asylum. This law has been critized as controversial because Denmark has a reputaion for being a country that supports and stands for tolerance and social democratic values.

Pocessions such as mobile phones, watches, and jewelry–not including wedding rings–are items that are likely to be seized by the Danish Goverment. Items with sentimental value, on the other hand, will not be seized, such as family portriats and medals. Yet the question arises: Why seize the pocessions of Syrian refugees?

According to the Danish goverment this law ensures that the incoming Syrian refugees will contribute to Denmark’s welfare state. The Syrian refugees will be reciving language training, universal health care, education from preschoool to University, and elderly care all paid for by the goverment.

Some of commented that this is actually Denmark atempting to discourage refugees from entering the country. However this has only been applied to 120 out of 66,000 Syrian asylum seekers.