and welcome back to the yak podcasts from world vision stralia i make it in there and today we're going to myself a city in northern iraq near the syrian border missouri husband a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in the world violence and bloodshed following the city's captured by the so called islamic state forces in twenty four taint the three occupation reduced much trouble two years after the city was officially declared ray taken by government forces the question remains is it actually safe for people to return i'm here with brianna piazza for my sps journalists will be a roving reporter chris produce to i story bray tell us about the current situation in missouri thing saying guess so july marks two years since it was officially declared that iraqi forces had successfully pushed out be islamic state in the city of mersal and that one's following a bloody non muslim bachelor which was just horrific so the thousands of people who who lives through it but fast forward to today there are still thousands of people displaced and distressed if not dead as a result of the conflict in mersal and the surrounding areas and we're talking about a country where wade decades of war upon wool has less close to seven million people at the mercy of humanitarian aid not even children have been spared from the violence in racing conflicts such as the two thousand and three iraq cool and the subsequent takeover and full of isil there's so much debate about the numbers of civilians seriously injured displaced and killed in these laws and they exact figure is obviously impossible tonight but what what sort sort of numbers are we talking about here where we ever know the full extent of the human death toll so not even looking at the number of living wounded and people whose livelihood has been completely destroyed it's actually almost impossible to calculate to be exact death toll some household surveys estimated the death toll could be as high as a million since two thousand and three and now they estimate comes from iraq buddy can project which is basically a group of people who maintain pain this public da debase a violent civilian deaths since two thousand and three introducer they drone official figures they cross reference news reports and look at hospital recalled saving so iraq buddy count reports shari star between one hundred and eighty three and two hundred and five thousand civilians have died from violence in iraq since two thousand and three end to put that into perspective that scene tie a population of the city of harry bosch in tasmania mania a stray leah or it's enough to feel times square new york city twice it's also sixty eight times the number of people who died on september eleven so it's really difficult when trying to determined the number of deaths set could birth directly end indirectly as a result of violence so for example it's difficult to deter him in the number of people who may have died because of medical complications when they were fleeing violence and perhaps they couldn't get to a hospital in time and those are cheeses still finding mass graves but be honest truth is that we will never know exactly how many people have died judy conflicts over recent is so i went to minnesota forests firm will be a stray leah on this story she met families in iraq who trying everything they can to rebuild they lied and start fresh thanks great let's see that now inside a dummy drain the bombings of marshall we made a young girl named roger just ten years old she is a casualty of i it was a fried egg shell my father went to pray nls teaching inside my heart got me on jumped off a bye bye i'm jana or i'm not concerned about and i suddenly she can't be area and i ended up playing dropping bombs and josh my house all the time and i gotta say i want to wish fashioned running like black the vaccine is safe you'll have a dumb lacking or what about the premise that no i don't buy it in a split second brush his life changed forever at one of us on that this would have gotten costs on how i ended up being my grandchildren and i looked at my head and it was brilliant guy that you should look at and i haven't done it will save ladies i'm not including me they did on michael bellied long island lines and he made his debut single man broadly side on the front of my my shots are fired into my mother came naturally is off the charts mama shack bang i know roger most her left hand an explosion and her legs with badly damaged she is one of the thousands of people who were injured during the nine months paschall to retake marshall from the so called islamic state in twenty seventeen these associated press estimated between nine and eleven thousand civilians died in the crossfire but humanitarian organization suspect the death toll is much higher it's difficult to accurately count the dead as many buddies remain buried under the rubble of those old city survivors will wedding injury for the rest of their life i thought i had to drink on my centuries is buying tickets i i'm dead in her own right now and you should do that but i do need to go to the dark history as she's includes air plugs and i and i will look like you just said i had had what happened to me that i would not be accepted by the way he supported like i i looked to be just like humans to my thoughts i like famously i don't know like if a girl i'm like why am i alone russia is probably one of the strongest skills you as a mate she is full of life and radio so much happiness and positivity despite having experience so much hardship at such a young age she is strong willed an optimistic about the future but there is something she says it makes me feel really uneasy my what happened to me i want you to be learned in a glass as i said i said yeah sometimes i'd like to be uneasy about heim just feel shame me are some butter i must be what are some otherwise i i won't so we know that surviving law doesn't just leave physical scholars there's the mental and emotional impact the children have to cope with his well often without support medical decal help i see cases like this all the time my name is vanessa forrest and i developmentally disabled humanitarian relief projects for world vision across the middle east through my work i've met so many children let russia we set up safe spices the children to play and learn and we helped him access support psychosocial nate in conflict zones across the world in iraq allowing world vision has helped more than a hundred and twenty six thousand children through protection psychosocial support an education program he is my colleague kaelin breaks who will explain why these programs a sort of critical she's a senior adviser for conflict and displacement my background is in the protection of vulnerable people in conflict flicks settings and i was working in iraq and in muzzle in mid twenty seventeen and setting protection program therefore front other humanitarian organization i have never seen destruction like i have on the western half of his own on the streets were pretty much completely empty when i was there on and basically the streets were just filled with trouble on because the the shelling an aerial aerial bombardment was so heavy is and it it did look a little bit like an apocalypse children who fled muscle and who fled sort of neighboring villages and areas as well and it's they would have experienced arrange which of and quite traumatic experiences and events and so they may have personally been affected by violence on or seen it or experienced it themselves but on even just sort of hearing of it and being immersed in a situation where you have to leave home then potentially become separated from your family or you're extended social network all of those and all of those experiences have a really lasting effect on on children and so one of the main concerns and we sort of these benefits is making sure that we provide psychosocial support on two children and families who have been affected by the conflict and who have been affected by violence i think impacts and and people very from from person to person and it's difficult to say not and that will have the same impact on everyone i think i i met some people who were incredibly resilient i'm despite everything thing they went through said as soon as it safe i'm going to go back home and i'm going to restart my life and and and there was a real determination to not let this sort of overcome them forever but at the same time there were other people who had lost everything i so i think there was a bit of despair at times of you know what am i going back to so it's not just about basic nights when people vied they think of water food shelter the basic things they need their obviously critical but increasingly we need to consider all the native children as they start to recover we've done a lot of research into this and what we found is that children in conflict zones vice great risks on so many levels violence and displacement layton negative coaching strategies the families who are struggling to survive so one of those negative coping strategies for example could be families choosing to marry off their daughters early as a way of alleviating some of the strain on the family to and to provide food for many children or just to meet their basic economic needs and so while it's completely understandable coping strategy has very damaging effects on on young girls who were affected by it and but we also know that i displacement camps are very dangerous places and to to be a child and to be a girl are to be a woman on and others risks but everywhere in the world and displacement cutting so there are on risks just of a people not having sort of the basic security and safety and privacy and you know needing to walk to latrine in the middle of the night without lighting there's a risk of sexual violence and harassment and so there are risks that people experience us they fled the conflict itself but then also risks that people experience on as they continue their live in displacement so it's not just people who left and went to camp that were affected by it also people who remained in the city's sometimes trapped in the city's who also experienced really significant on a well significant violence but then also on have ongoing protection means in iraq fuzzy out of the complexity of documentation not being officially recognized if it was issued to people who were living in areas on the ice occupation that includes birth certificates of babies who were born in areas under oso control is currently an estimated forty forty five thousand displaced children in camp to missing documentation without it they face exclusion from iraqi society and they are deprived of the bunch basic human rights for example without documentation that unable to attend school or access healthcare when kids have experienced firsthand the most important thing is to restore their sense of normality so for example a stable learning environment opportunities study to take exams to finish school to socialize an access important psychosocial support we find ways to help kids realize their full potential and the chase cycles that may include finding a creative arts sport to enjoy or even playing music sad sad one of many talents russia has discovered is rushing and seen now the other thing i don't like it i mean sean i mean i i'm glad we finally have you seen this you hire se i think that i think a lot of time in any other tesla i suck you be happy in my dream who's had been barely a week and i had when i joined and i i think i got a sad sad when enjoy a national campaign manager when i'm doing treats i'm ready i'm busy i am jewelries my uncle sam i'm a veteran someone said i want my children using music to escape the hardest i've witnessed much of western module remains in ruins and the house which russia spent a lot happily growing up in still has damaged rules and a leaky ceiling and native repair a family doesn't have enough money to fix a united nations agencies as tonight up to ninety percent of historic city has been damaged and destroyed and satellite images in field surveys indicate eight million tons of debris scattered across the city international media critic documented the scale of destruction from aerial bombardment on ground tossing as defined science and michael unsalted in the battle is really in a lot of coercion planning i am confident the justice i suppose been defeated in communities across iraq iso will be defeated in mosul is well tens of thousands more still trapped behind enemy lines reports the children being used as human shields this is the worst devastation i've seen in all my years in hcr if people have lost everything my dilemma as one of the hardest t areas voshel infrastructure gone homes and businesses destroyed bodies buried in the rubble inaki all stars he's estimates it will cost up to seven billion dollars in decades to rebuild dale city city of mosul these who's a place full of historic religious and cultural sites including the iconic eight hundred year old mary most oh time oh my stance to win the morning fred echoed through the streets of building around see only seventy before doing everything else his client until the pico traffic stone this is a country that's been so many gods of the past most disturbing to know about the recent conflicts lucky iraq war two thousand three tree wendy united states and allied forces including stralia decided to put food on the ground these trillion prime minister at the time john howard famously alleged berar must not be allowed this weapons of mass struck border security and stability about iraq must be designed to enhance mesa the former british prime minister tony blair publicly announce intelligence assessments made at the time of during the war to adopt we're all be optimized turned out to be more of style protracted on bloody and we mentioned in the chaos of the conflict and the fed hostilities intention and we saw the rise of awesome a group that want it to set up a society is a fellow strict interpretation of islam nickel cities like mazel and surrounding areas in northern iraq were heavily impacted these images of auto desperation threshing asylum and he's running out of food in hotel and then colston staying alive these have said the militant islamic state fighters made more gains today writes this type of lost changes this organization has a history of a dusting what doctors academic some journalist but the reality is literally every decade since the great iraqi revolution of nineteen twenty has seen conflict of some sort in this country that hasn't been a single generation the pot century that hasn't been touched by violence who knows if it would be any different for this generation a group of us travel tossing sean camp which sits outside marshall so it was all my surreal we were driving along highway the leads from someone normalcy of appeal towards the title of my day some strange to think not long ago that french were out and about looking at it now if they try people who managed to escape mazel and surrounding areas that came under attack fled to camps my cousin shown today there are one point seven million iraqis peace who are displaced many of them living in camps just like this one some of them have tried to return heim but found it wasn't safe or realized there was nothing there for them anymore so they have retirement accounts one of the reasons unexploded ordinance inland month iraq is listed in the world's top five most heavily mind countries juicy years and years of conflict but the recent bombardments of only made the situation even more dangerous civilians united nations estimated there are at least ten million mine's we every province in northern iraq affected civilians and often children are usually the ones maimed or killed by land mines the situation is so bad that unfortunately ice agents he's like well vision of working with mine action group to teach children how to avoid land mines an unexploded ordinance in iraq i met with the principal while i was visiting a school where unesco is funding a program to help children get back into education eucation we work with schools like these across northern iraq we use this as an opportunity to teach kids about the daily threats of mines so they could protect themselves i hate this morning when you're can you tell me why she said it's important you know it's very important because most of the children in school offer most to places that were captured to boston let's do not clear of explosive bus it's very unfortunate stuff raise awareness about explosive we're currently pitching staff and students and families returning home and i need to know about the reef many areas haven't yet been cleared by x but teams above hey i'm wondering she has a view of how children feel about the prospect of going i was expecting have half of the students and i have this fear but i'm shocked the number of students actually be like double because people and their families to stay here for their safety so bacon leaving pay some people decide to go back to the areas that were meant to be csi they were ten students who returned time but then they came back here again even areas where they leave in the homes surrounded by armed forces who controlled area most of their properties have been demolished so even the people are being encouraged to attend heim once they dirty may choose to leave again they leave because there's nothing there for them no work no livelihoods sometimes not even basic services like schools and hospitals there's a danger of violence an unexploded ordinance that still scott farms roads and schools so people end up in camps some in iraq and some across the border it's not necessarily early because life is bettering camps it's just that people feel safer there and create their own life for themselves united nations mind action service estimates it will take at least i is to make muzzle site from unexploded for the bombs and that's not even including rural areas and other cities but so many people we talked to say they can't just put their life on hold for decades they need to earn income no matter what so famas this means returning to the atlantic referred even though they know they might be unexploded ordinance sitting underneath the soil this is me speaking to a group of local residents from today's show and we we we went to the phone lines that fuji's they told us that there is some some clowns a they have a mind show then they got the company it's got to be kind of access to the lineup yet so nature so they got falling again on monday following a cell phone that god come on the truth doing this because this there is some groups doing an incredible job of trying to address these mammoth almost impossible task cleaning up the millions of unexploded devices planted over several decades of different woolsey no it's an extremely dangerous job my name is gabriel bruschi and i'm senior program officer for monday advisory group international known as back based in iraq prior to joining mag i hadn't really considered mind action is critical to humanitarian pain relief work i had worked on a number of other humanitarian responses but predominantly worked in country after natural disasters do not joining i quickly realized that my action is absolutely critical go to humanitarian efforts in conflict defected areas more often than not it civilians killed or injured conventional then lines were planted and left from complex price the isis on the other hand i designed device it's a substantial impact making them sensitive enough to be triggered by a child but powerful enough to disable a tank isis manufactured devices on an industrial scale and made the different components in factories which tipping found in places like most the most is still victim operated city armed groups who planted them can be long gone but the device is still active and extremely dangerous the device is unprecedented not just because of the sheer volume we are finding them but also julie substantial amount of explosive chp age device and austin multiple ways for them to be treated in motives families have returned home instead of pain booby trapped intentionally and the tactics takes a shocking imagine if opening the bathroom door or lifting a toilet say set off a bomb picking up a copy of the kerr on trade and explosion these are real cases that have been recorded children children have even been injured while sitting off freebie traps in schools in the playground one family member can stay home in total bond a village to the east of mosul after kurdish forces had retaken the area from office sadly one of their family members set off an improvised landmine at the front door an instantly killed three of the family mendez mac has a hundred and ten trying teams on the ground working in some of the most heavily mind areas of northern look they estimate defensive land mines kabbah hundreds of columbus rockies in rural areas eagerly await the reins to come every year iraq has a very very drawn climate and so the rains provided case also drinking water and are cross but it's met with mixed feelings because the voshel source of life is also killing people floods kyri land mines and other devices to new places it makes this territory even more dangerous because areas that had already been deemed safe could suddenly have land mines appear of not it's this threat that never ends rain heavy at the spacing makes it too dangerous but the day moniz to work and active minefields reducing the time the clearance what can be done the massive areas of the cut us enraging have challenging terrain for the teams to work meaning that the machines unable to be used in d minus have to work slow on state slopes it also snows in the mountains over the winter months making it impossible for clearance swept continue until it dries out and if that wasn't bad enough teams say extreme weather events and making the jokes even more difficult we just came out of a longer than usual winter where we had substantial rainfall causing a lot of flooding pitchy kelly in the northern parts of iraq in the kurdistan region iraq where there is still a great deal of minefields an unexploded ordinance from previous complex the flooding caused landslides in some areas which in some cases moved land mines away from minefields wellknown into local community or uncovered land mines were buried deep in the ground in the flooded areas of the planes heavy rains flooded improvise minefields washed away bridges and flooded roads which meant that teams are unable to work on all get access to side until the flooding receded in this context in which many people worried about the threat of violence many people too scared to return home this fear of land mines and explosives is still felt by men women and children even decades after they they implanted and impacts of stabilization and development of community so it's critical that we keep pushing the international community to commit and hold conventions like the mind ben tracy and the unknown lied lied and on established and continuing a total of six million iraqis would displace between twenty eleven twenty seventeen at a third of them have still not pretend harm some families have gone home unsettled in abandoned buildings train stations are even construction sites dalia is from ziti village and his family story is very typical she has nine children and boy and her husband conduit not that yeah my name is don i have nine and ten s did you get both my daughters and i told my show and we cannot santa or in the gym and in five days off before the un boy knocking on our door they said they were sunday tarian organization they're alive you end up wanting too hard rock music ternary has supported us improvises on why do they have any pro gun channel eight this evening in yeah said when we went to the sheep show and open the door you saw the condition that just happened to us i watch the game with endearing following that movie on the other side now we have four allowed it to our customers who feel for the guy i stored new then i i need as cherry because you have the benefits from the charity others have shown to work i want to be increased the number so that i've been able to open up shop in the next year and be able to say cheese yoga and she points to develop income for my chin people trying to rebuild their alliance in this context but there's a lot of fear distrust particularly towards many of the displaced place did aki who was thought to have lives under oath perhaps even worked for most supported awesome and i still had lost territory but authorities report there tens of thousands of isis fighters scattered across the globe many people are still scared that the threat has not gone away but now a lady with the children of marshall they still drainage heim they have hard even lower home isn't what it used to be a failure to say a we had a garden as i just how how to cheer cheer it's in the last surviving the god they've grown diamond so i ask you more rest you got any really invest in front of other people seven at this chargers team they're firing or every time i talked ashoka says trauma jalen like do you eat that i've seen bars airplanes in our stabber friday they were taken into custody they guarantee every once in a while we were terrified i will thank you now extra quote he does and we will die by the it wasn't the death toll in the flat iron nightmare scenario i don't have any they're not much better andrew miller at least you could play more school i couldn't play gatty i mean we love each other with respect each other and help each other i wish that the bp we could feel more safe and secure that he i'd like the big house in seekonk yeah it's like at the top that looked like a wide swath of yelling at him that i wish we could be seeing another it is a podcast by world vision australia thanks to the knesset forests and briana piazza's producing today's episode ends macintosh incredible audio engineer if you'd to find out more about the humanitarian crisis in iraq and you can visit the world vision website where you can find out more about the work with doing which includes providing psychosocial support the life saving a system

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