Red Cross psychologists help Tajik children repatriated from Iraq


DUSHANBE -- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) psychiatrists are helping rehabilitate four Tajik children who recently returned from war zones in Iraq, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Tajik service reported Wednesday (June 27).

The four children were repatriated from Baghdad camps in April and are living with close relatives. The children's parents were militants who either died or disappeared.

Since May, each child has had a designated psychologist who regularly visits that child's home.

The psychologists have visited the children twice so far, one of the psychologists, Bkhava Poidual, told RFE/RL Tuesday. "We talk to [them] and play with them," she said. "The conversations last from one to four hours."

Authorities expect all four children to be ready for school by September.

More than 1,000 Tajik citizens are fighting in Iraq and Syria, the Tajik Interior Ministry previously reported. Those Tajik insurgents brought more than 200 children with them.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the ICRC and the Tajik government are working to repatriate dead or missing militants' children, reported RFE/RL.

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