Suicide rates continue to rise in Iraq

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Suicide cases are on the rise in Iraq, especially among young people, with 700 reported cases last year. According to social and psychological experts, unemployment, financial crisis, family and social feuds, as well as security and political instability are to blame.

An article in the New Arab points out that economic problems, unemployment, social problems, despair of change, and the ongoing political crisis are primarily responsible for increased suicide rates in Iraq.

Iraqi Human Rights Commission spokesman Sarmad Badri told the outlet that suicide rates have increased “significantly” in recent years. In 2021 alone, there were more than 700 suicides reported by the Interior Ministry, in addition to those that remained unreported.

According to Badri, a “significant” proportion of suicides occurs among the youth, due to human rights violations, a lack of services, and the ongoing crises in society.

Suicide rates have also increased due to state policies, according to him. Providing young people with job opportunities and the basic needs of their lives is important to building and developing society, according to him.

According to social expert Taha Hussein, suicide rates are increasing at a dangerous rate.

He recalled several cases of rescuing people who attempted suicide but were prevented by their relatives.

Investigations have shown that some suicides were committed by elderly people, especially those in complicated situations, despite the fact that they were nearing the end of their lives.

Human rights activist Mustafa Fazel criticized the government for failing to prevent suicides from increasing.

In Fazel’s estimation, the relevant authorities are only publishing suicide statistics, not seeking to solve the dangerous problem, which has become a huge phenomenon posing a serious threat to society.

The Interior Ministry, human rights organizations, and parliament are responsible for addressing the issue, according to him.

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