Families have been split up as they fled street fighting, air strikes or Daesh repression.

UNICEF says nearly 4,000 children have been separated from parents in the battle for Mosul.
UNICEF says nearly 4,000 children have been separated from parents in the battle for Mosul.

Thousands of children have been separated from their parents in the nine-month battle for Mosul and the preceding years of Daesh rule in northern Iraq. Some have been wandering alone and afraid among the rubble, others joining the refugee exodus from the pulverised city.

In some cases, their parents have been killed. Families have been split up as they fled street fighting, air strikes or Daesh repression. Many are traumatised from the horrors they have endured.

Protecting the youngsters and reuniting them with their families is an urgent task for humanitarian organisations.

"These children are extremely vulnerable," said Mariyampillai Mariyaselvam, a child protection specialist with UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund).

"Most have gone through a very painful history."

Mariyaselvam said it was difficult to give an accurate number but child protection agencies have recorded more than 3,000 separated and over 800 unaccompanied children, he said. The latter are the priority.

TRT World's Mobin Nasir has this report on the situation in Mosul.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies