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Where is your child?

hamzeh mohammad hosseini | Iran

Twelve orphaned and malevolent girls, all under the 12, are being held by a family under supervision of Welfare Organization in a garden house around Tehran. Their care is provided by that family and the benefactors. They each have issues at an early age, they have faced various disaster and have had a lot of problems. Addiction at age 5 or sexual assault by a father at age 6 is a prime example of this. Although they seem to have ordinary lives. But in fact, because of their dark past, they have had many psychological problems and struggles in their lives. In this series, they use a mask to prevent their names from being revealed and to avoid any future problems.

About 26,000 children who are orphaned or do not have proper care live in Iran under the protection and support of the national Welfare Organization, directly or indirectly. Of these, 85% of them are from families whose parents are unable to properly care for their own children. Each year, about 900 children enter the welfare system.

The mental health impacts of family separation on children include everything from depression and night terrors to self-esteem issues and anger.

Experts report that addiction, poverty (and resulting behavior like prostitution and violence), and mental illness are to blame for Iran’s child welfare crisis. In fact, about 70% of the children involved have parents who are battling addition. Recent studies show that about 2.8 million people in Iran are continuous drug users.

Although the family unit is the most fundamental and secure environment in which children can grow and thrive, some parents are unable to provide this most basic structure, due to addiction and/or mental health issues. When children are removed from the home, it is usually for their own safety, but are parents aware of the ultimate outcomes? Do they understand their child’s fate? Do they know where their child is?





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