Institute for International Law and Human Rights

WASHINGTON, DC  •  BRUSSELS  •  BAGHDAD

Publications & Resources

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IILHR’s work includes extensive participation in drafting more than 100 different analyses of legislative and constitutional issues for the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Kurdistan Regional Parliament. IILHR has also provided commentary on approaches to a broad spectrum of issues, including constitutional review, gender law, Iraq’s human rights commission, social safety net development, freedom of expression and information, accountability, transitional justice, cultural heritage, and minority rights.

Publications and Resources

A Comparative Look at Implementing Human Rights Commission Laws

Offers recommendations for the implementation of the Law of the High Commission for Human Rights by presenting comparative findings on national human rights institutions in various states. States examined include, but are not limited to, Canada, Palestine, Timor-Leste, Kenya, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and South Africa. Issues examined include broad versus narrow mandates, independence from government control, independence in respect to funding, the role of domestic legislation, and flexibility and transparency.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

A Comparative Look at Referendum Laws

Defines referendum as a direct democracy procedure and outlines reasons for a referendum. Describes the institutional frameworks including regulation, types, subjects, and legal consequences. Also analyzes procedural frameworks and provides comparative charts and sample legislation.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

Access to Housing for Vulnerable Populations in Iraq

Presents, through comparative analysis of state practices, options regarding how Iraq can provide access to housing for its vulnerable populations. Specifically examines the way in which other countries have sought to create housing rights in their constitutions and statutes; the manner in which these countries have allowed for the justifiability of economic, social and cultural rights, in particular, adequate housing; and various positive discrimination or affirmative action policies used to provide adequate housing.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Women's Rights

Between the Millstones: The State of Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul

“Between the Millstones: The State of Iraq’s Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul” aims to document the plight of Iraq’s minorities most affected by the violence that has gripped northern Iraq since June 2014. This report, based on extensive interviews, field work, and research, seeks to complement other human rights reporting to highlight the situation of Iraq’s minorities in light of the violence that has pervaded northern Iraq since June 2014 and the resulting humanitarian catastrophe. This publication is the product of a partnership of four organizations: IILHR, Minority Rights Group International, No Peace Without Justice, and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. The report was released February 27 in Brussels.

Based on the facts uncovered in this report, it appears that ISIS forces and commanders have committed most of the war crimes prohibited under international law, almost all of the underlying acts for crimes against humanity; and information exists which would support a prima facie case that ISIS forces have committed the crime of genocide against religious minorities in northern Iraq, in particular against the Yezidi minority. The report makes 38 key recommendations to alleviate the humanitarian burden, prevent further human rights abuses, promote reconciliation, and accelerate planning for the post-ISIS era.

Report
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Classification of Laws in Iraq

Examines and classifies existing Iraq laws to (a) determine continuing validity, the need for amendment, and the need for repeal, and (b) organize in a way which provides clear, simply reference by subject matter. Explores various ways to group Iraqi laws by subject matter and source and provides country examples from France, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and Romania.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Rule of Law

Comments on the Private Security Contractor Draft Law

Analyzes and comments on the Private Security Contractor draft law. Suggests increased clarity and comprehensiveness in the Purpose of the Law section, greater precision in the Definitions section, increased clarity regarding the extent of civil and criminal liability, and greater legal distinction between defining Iraqi vs. Foreign companies. Provides an article-by-article analysis.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Rule of Law

Comparative Analysis of Minority Protection Legislation

Examines state practice regarding the necessary and common components of minority legislation. Comprehensive legislation should include anti-discrimination measures, minority rights legislation, and the creation of institutions to monitor minority protections. Specifically, most state models incorporate identity, language, employment, education, media, and participation in public life.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Comparative Analysis of Referendum Legislation

Provides a country-by-country analysis of referendum legislation. Examining Armenia, Estonia, Macedonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Romania, and other states, provides analysis of legal frameworks; issues that cannot be submitted to referendum; issues that can be submitted to referendum, rights to initiate, implementing institutions; and definitions.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

Comparative Look at International Standards and Best State Practices on Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Identifies, though comparative state practice, the necessary and common components of anti-discrimination legislation and implementation in contemporary states based on international standards. Suggests that the enumeration of the right to non-discrimination and equality in the constitution is necessary but not sufficient and that comprehensive legislation is also needed. Examines international covenants on civil and political rights and the practices of states such as South Africa, Canada, Serbia, Morocco, the U.S., and others.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Comparison of the Authorities of the Upper and Lower Legislative Houses

Examines the relative authorities of the upper and lower legislative houses in Germany, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa. Considers whether the upper house should have jurisdiction equal to that of the lower house or only that legislation which is related to the regions. Addresses what different states consider “regionally related.” Examines the relative responsibilities of both houses regarding appointing executive branch and other officials as well as issues of budget construction.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

Constitutional Court

Provides a country-by-country analysis of constitutional courts. Provides analysis of the composition, qualifications, role/jurisdiction, president, and financial aspects of the constitutional courts of Romania, Poland, Afghanistan, and Spain.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Judiciary | Rule of Law

Criteria for Selecting Commissioners of the High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq Composition and Mechanism of Secretariat

Examines and compares the selection criteria for Human Rights Commissioners in Canada, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Kenya, and Australia. Suggests criteria related to language skills, educational qualifications, and professional experience that may be required of individuals considered for commissioner positions. Also provides comparative analysis of Human Rights Commission composition, functioning, and degree of independence for the above-named countries.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Crossroads: The Future of Iraq’s Minorities after ISIS

Brussels, 7 June 2017 — IILHR, in partnership with three other human rights organizations, released its third annual assessment of the state of Iraq’s minorities after the fall of Mosul in June 2014. The document is meant to complement other reporting on Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities; it also offers 63 specific recommendations that can help to relieve the existential pressure on these long-suffering groups.

On the third anniversary of the fall of Mosul, the focus is on the future. Minority communities in Iraq fear their ancestral lands will be stolen by government-backed forces as ISIS is pushed back, the new report finds. Territories “liberated” from ISIS months ago remain occupied by militias, Peshmerga, and Iraqi Security Forces while Yezidis, Christians, Shabak, and Turkmen have yet to return.

Based on extensive fieldwork in conflict-affected Ninewa and other parts of Iraq, “Crossroads: The Future of Iraq’s Minorities after ISIS” is the third in a series of definitive annual reports on the state of Iraq’s minorities, published by Minority Rights Group International (MRG), IILHR, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). Financial support for the project was provided by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

“ISIS is not yet defeated, but the rush to grab their former territory is already well underway,” says Mark Lattimer, MRG’s Executive Director. “East of Mosul, the Ninewa plains formerly home to Iraq’s minorities are now one ghost town after another, inhabited only by militias.” The last year has seen continued high rates of refugee flight from Iraq, particularly by minority Christians and Yezidis. With insecure conditions for internally displaced persons, many more plan to flee.

“With the impending liberation of Iraqi territory from ISIS forces, minority populations continue to diminish. All indications point to a post-ISIS phase that could be just as — or even more —dangerous to minority groups than the ISIS occupation. Many leaders fear that the “peace” could be more perilous for their survival as communities than the “war,” says William Spencer, Executive Director of IILHR.

This report makes 63 specific recommendations to the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the international community tackling the humanitarian, legal, asylum, and other needs of minorities. The report warns that if their concerns are not addressed, there will be a continuing and lasting legacy of inter-communal animosity in conflict affected areas and the ultimate departure of ethnic and religious minority populations from many parts of Iraq.

Report
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Higher Judicial Council

Provides country-by-country analysis of Higher Judicial Councils (HJCs). Examines the composition of such bodies, the appointment process, the role/jurisdiction of HJCs, the president, and the financing. Compares HJCs in Spain, Italy, and Romania.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Judiciary

IILHR Comments on Constitutional Amendments

Provides commentary and analysis on amendments to the Iraqi Constitution.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Constitutional Development | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Judiciary | Rule of Law

IILHR Comments on Draft Law on Federation Council

Analyzes and comments on the Federation Council draft law. Main areas of concern and comment include that the present law does not include independent representation of the region as required by Article 65 of the Constitution; that the dates and means of direct election of Federation Council members are not clear and the draft may be improved by including language discussing whether or not the governorates have discretion in establishing regulations pertaining to time and means for elections; that the present draft does not enumerate the scope of the Federation Council’s jurisdiction. Provides article by article analysis of the draft law.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Disability Draft Law

Examines the Disability draft law and provides suggestions for improvement and clarity article by article. Main areas of concern include the need to follow international standards when defining disability and other terms, to include that the underlying goal of the law is to promote equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities and support their integration into mainstream society, as well as others. Also suggests the inclusion of financial analysis and implications.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Draft Foreign Service Law

Analyzes and comments on the draft Foreign Service law. Main areas of concern include the need to clarify the division of diplomatic ranks; the need to determine the specific allowances desired to complement these specific ranks; and the need to require that all Foreign Service employees be knowledgeable of either French or English as they are the lingua franca of international relations. Also suggests that financial analysis and implications be included in every draft law. Provides an article-by-article analysis.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Draft Law on Communications and Media Commission

Analyzes and comments on the Communications and Media Commission draft law. Main areas of concern and comment include the need to clarify the responsibilities of the commission and the structure of how the commission is formed (nomination, election, and appointment of members). Additionally, suggests the significance of understanding that the basis of an independent commission is to have parliament establish a commission of experts on a topic and then to leave the organization and its work to the members themselves. These final components must be included for the commission to be truly independent. Provides article-by-article analysis.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Federal Civil Service Council

Analyzes and comments on the Federal Civil Service Council draft law. Main areas of concern include the draft law is too limited in its focus and should include development of the public system in addition to establishing public or independent institutions; the draft law should discuss the substance of the debated issue (i.e., civil service). This analysis is based on examination of normal state practice.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Federal Supreme Court

Analyzes and comments on the Federal Supreme Court draft law. Main areas of concern and comment include the delineation of too much power to one individual; and the need to clarify and further explain the process and mechanics of the court. Suggests adding several articles from the constitution to the preamble of the law. Provides article-by-article analysis.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Judiciary

IILHR Comments: Freedom of Expression

Analyzes the roots of the right to freedom of expression in the Iraq Constitution and international treaties and covenants. Freedom of expression also includes the right of assembly and of the press and may only be limited for violations of “public order and morality” under the constitution. “Public order and morality” are not defined in the constitution so interpretation is left to lawmakers or the courts. The lack of definition may lead to uncertainty and unfairness. The law should define “public order and morality” but must be careful not to run afoul of the Constitution’s Article 46 guarantee that laws will not “violate the essence of the right to freedom.” Suggests narrowly tailored language in line with international practices related to incitement of violence and defamation and racial or ethnic slurs.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Rule of Law

IILHR Comments: Higher Judicial Council

Analyzes and comments on the Higher Judicial Council draft law. The main areas of concern and comment include the delineation of too much power into the hands of one individual; the mechanics of the law need to be expanded upon and clarified (nomination, election, and appointment); and the fact that two articles may be unconstitutional as written. Provides article-by-article analysis.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Judiciary

IILHR Comments: Student Salary/Scholarship Draft Law

Analyzes and comments on the Student Salary/Scholarship draft law. Main areas of concern and comment include that the mechanics of how this law will be implemented need to be clarified; the monitoring process, which is essential to the functioning of such a program, also needs clarification. Provides article-by-article analysis and addresses questions and ambiguities that may arise from the current language.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law

IILHR Comparative Review of Minority Representation of in Electoral Legislation

Examines provisions in the election laws of Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, and Bosnia and Herzegovina relating to the representation and participation of minorities in the public sphere. Presents an overview of internationally and nationally recognized political rights and examines various electoral systems employed by democracies throughout the world, including Proportional Representation systems, Plurality-Majority systems, and quotas. Specifically examines the representation of women and that of other minorities in the above-named countries.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Minority Rights | Women's Rights

IILHR Legislative Review of the Draft Law on Rights of the Innocents

Analyzes and comments on the Rights of the Innocents draft law. Main areas of concern include the fact that the law may duplicate various articles of the constitution that already protect the rights to life, liberty, and security, those that protect privacy, those that protect against unlawful arrest and detention, and those that guarantee the right to litigate; that the definition of “innocent” under the draft law is narrow enough to risk unconstitutionally abridging rights guaranteed to all in the constitution; that the purpose of the law may be better suited for a law prohibiting libel and slander than one protecting the rights of the innocents. Provides article-by-article analysis.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Constitutional Development | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law

IILHR Legislative Review of the Draft Law on Women’s Care

Analysis of a draft law in the Iraqi Council of Representatives on the Care of Women without Supporters, looking at existing provisions of the Women’s Care draft law and examining international practice to suggest additional provisions that the Council of Representatives may wish to consider to achieve economic, social, and cultural equality for women in Iraq.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

IILHR Memo Legal Approach on 2009 Budget Law Articles

Advises on the draft Budget Law for 2009 by analyzing the Ministry of Finance’s amendments to the draft Budget Law for 2009 and the commentary of Taleb Ayfan, Advisor to the Iraqi Council of Representative’s Committee on Financial Affairs. Provides means to strengthen the ability of provinces and municipalities to provide basic social and municipal services and to perform their functions effectively by allocating budget items and managerial responsibility directly to provincial government bodies.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law

IILHR Memo on an Independent Commission for Civil Society

Analyzes the potential impact of the following options regarding whether a future Independent Commission for Civil Society can be called for as part of the draft NGO law: (1) add a separate chapter to the NGO law; (2) include an article within the NGO law; (3) pass a separate law creating the Commission prior to passing the NGO law. Provides potential advantages and disadvantages for each option.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Rule of Law

IILHR Memo on Constitutional Provisions Related to the Authorities of Upper and Lower Legislative Houses

Provides provisions from the German, South African, Egyptian, and Nigerian constitutions related to the relative authorities of each country’s upper and lower legislative houses. Constitutional provisions provided include appointment responsibilities, the creation and regulation of state institutions supporting democracy, impeachment powers, jurisdiction over various types of legislation, jurisdiction over constitutional amendments, and powers related to the national budget.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

IILHR Memo on Implementing International Human Rights Related Treaty Obligations in Iraq

Analyzes potential conflicts in the authority for implementing human rights treaties under the Iraqi Constitution and outlines the basic process for pursuing treaty implementation. Discusses several options for treaty implementation including exclusive treaty implementation power granted to the Council of Representatives and shared implementation power between the federal and regional governments. Describes the treaty implementation process and provides state comparisons.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

IILHR Memo on Nationality

Identifies, through comparative state practice, international approaches to naturalization and citizenship legislation. Examines practices in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, and other states and compares those states whose requirements are liberal versus those that have exclusive requirements.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law

IILHR Memo on Speaker’s Term in Office

Identifies, through comparative state analysis, international approaches to fixed terms for parliamentary leaders. Suggests that not all parliamentary systems recognize the role of parliamentary leaders or speakers, but that for those that do recognize the position, term limits often match the term of the representative assembly by which the speaker is elected or have separate fixed terms. Examines the practices of South Africa, Jordan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia, and Mali.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

Interpreting Article 56 of the Iraqi Constitution: The Timing of the Next Parliamentary Elections

Provides basis and precedent for interpreting Article 56 in terms of the “fourth year” ending on 31 December 2009 or, alternatively, on 28 February 2010. Identifies that the question hinges on the interpretation of the term “calendar year” as it applies in the context of the article and whether “fourth year” refers to the calendar year or a 365-day cycle based on the start of the first session in March. Recommends that Article 56 be interpreted to support holding the parliamentary elections in January 2010 rather than November 2009 based on the strength of comparative findings and pragmatic considerations.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights: Bylaws, Regulation, and Legal Framework

IILHR has developed a wide-ranging resource tool and reference guide that can provide needed support to fully establish the new Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights.

“Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights: Bylaws, Regulations, and Legal Framework” starts with international standards and the commission’s enabling legislation as a framework, and it then considers more than 30 country examples to support the process of developing an infrastructure, rules of procedure, complaints handling regulations, financial and procurement regulations, staffing regulations, codes of conduct, and a host of other issues.

The toolkit is organized by topic and each section considers the current legal framework as well as country examples relating to how each task may be accomplished. It also includes recommendations tailored to the new commission and the Iraqi context for stakeholders to consider. The toolkit also addresses the importance of collaboration with civil society and potential mechanisms for coordination with government, parliament, donors, and other groups. Where appropriate, IILHR provides sample regulations and procedures for each issue as a starting point for development and consideration.

Though there is extensive research on national human rights institutions, much of it is theoretical and specific comparative examples are seriously lacking. IILHR developed this book to fill that research gap and provide tangible examples for consideration that can be used not only by the Iraqi Commission but also by other national human rights institutions worldwide.

Handbook
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law

Iraq’s Minorities and Other Vulnerable Groups: Legal Framework, Documentation, and Human Rights

The Institute for International Law and Human Rights has developed a comprehensive report examining the de jure and de facto situation of Iraq’s minority components and other vulnerable populations to support the assessment of asylum claims within countries to which Iraqi refugees apply for protection and to complement other resources on Iraq’s vulnerable populations.

“Iraq’s Minorities and Other Vulnerable Groups: Legal Framework, Documentation, and Human Rights” provides an overview of key human rights, documentation, and legal challenges common to many minority components in today’s Iraq — including minority women — and suggests targeted recommendations to the central government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the international community. It then provides information on how Iraqi identity documents are processed and the requirements for issuance of documents including birth certificates, passports, and national identity cards, drawing from the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s Consular Handbook and other sources. The book then offers an analysis of Iraq’s legal framework as it relates to citizenship, personal status, criminalized behavior, voluntary return to Iraq, and issues specific to particular components.

Finally, the report provides detailed information on the situation of 16 Iraqi components and vulnerable groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons. Details on ethno-religious minorities and other populations include historical background, approximate demographics, security situation, human rights challenges, humanitarian situation, diaspora and returnees, and the situation of women and children.

Handbook
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Legal Memorandum Trade Union and Syndicate Legislation: International Practice

Provides a comparative analysis of international practice with respect to the bifurcation of trade union and syndicate laws. Examines legislative practice in the United States, Germany, Jordan, and Australia regarding the right to collective bargaining.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law

Legislative Review of the Draft Law of Non-Governmental Organizations

Analyzes and comments on the Non-Governmental Organization draft law. Main areas of concern and comment include the independence of civil society and its ability to fully operate independent of the Iraqi government. Suggests that it is essential that Iraq support NGOs to the fullest extent possible to have a legitimate democracy. Provides article-by-article analysis of the draft law.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Rule of Law

Legislative Review of the Draft Law on Child Protection

Analyzes the Child Protection draft law. Main areas of concern and comment include expanding the scope of the law to encompass all the rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child; ensuring that the law does not discriminate on any basis; adding provisions against practices harmful to girls’ rights, such as female genital mutilation; abolishing or amending existing legislation that contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child; strengthening legal penalties for those who harm children; using terminology that conforms to international standards and clearly and consistently defining the term “children”; clarifying the processes and measures for implementing the law’s provisions; elaborating on the roles and responsibilities of the National Childhood Committee and the Childhood Protection Department created by the law; and mandating that the new Committee and Department are adequately staffed by qualified personnel, including a minimum number of women.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Women's Rights

List of Constitutional Laws to be Legislated by Iraqi Council of Representatives Related to State Building

Relates each law pending in the Council of Representatives to the article of the constitution authorizing its implementation.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Constitutional Development | Rule of Law

Minorities and the Law in Iraq

IILHR has produced “Minorities and the Law” in Iraq, which offers a groundbreaking analysis of the body of Iraqi law as it affects Iraq’s minorities, as well as recommendations to bring Iraqi law into compliance with international standards and Iraq’s Constitution.

Handbook
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Minority Protections in Iraq: Implementing Article 125 of Iraq’s Constitution

Analyzes minority autonomy issues as a way to further implement Iraq’s Constitution and comply with the legislative requirements for local administrations called for in Article 125. Provides a survey of local autonomy regimes with examples taken from around the world in an effort to clarify issues and present options to Iraqi citizens. Suggests that the most common way to establish mechanisms to allow minority groups to have representative self-governments is through the creation of autonomous regions or smaller local governments.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Constitutional Development | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Women's Rights

Moving the Issue of Minorities in Iraq Forward

Outlines a range of potential actions that IILHR could take to advance the cause of minority rights, representation, protection, and cohesion, within the context of our grant with the State Department.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

No Way Home: Iraq’s Minorities on the Verge of Disappearance

On 4 July 2016, IILHR, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), Minority Rights Group International (MRG), and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) launched a second joint report documenting the state of Iraq’s minority components since the advance of ISIS in 2014. The report, titled “No Way Home: Iraq’s Minorities on the Verge of Disappearance,” is a follow-up report to “Between the Millstones: The State of Iraq’s Minorities since the Fall of Mosul,” published in February 2015.

“No Way Home: Iraq’s Minorities on the Verge of Disappearance” documents how many thousands of persons belonging to Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities have been murdered, maimed, or abducted, including unknown numbers of women and girls forced into marriage or sexual enslavement, after the fall of Mosul in June 2014.

Iraq’s Christian population, which before 2003 numbered as many as 1.4 million, is now fewer than 250,000. Most of the Yezidi and Kaka’i have been forced from their traditional lands and are now internally displaced or have fled the country altogether, while Shi’a Turkmen and Shabak have been driven to the south. As of June 2016 there were as many as 3.4 million displaced persons, making Iraq the country with the highest number and fastest growing rate of people displaced in the world in 2015. Overall, the UN estimates that 10 million people have now been affected by displacement and are in need of humanitarian assistance. Minority communities have taken the brunt of this mass movement of people.

“Families are destroyed. Homes, businesses, and farms have been looted. Heritage is either demolished or sold. Survivors will have nothing to return to, unless Iraq and the international community take more robust action to address the crushing needs of minorities,” said William Spencer, of IILHR.

Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) forces and commanders have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, including the use of chemical weapons, summary executions, killing, mutilation, rape, sexual violence, torture, cruel treatment, the use and recruitment of children, and outrages on personal dignity, says the report. Iraqi Security Forces, Popular Mobilization Units, and Peshmerga have also committed war crimes prohibited under international law.

Many uprooted by the violence within Iraq hoped they would be able to return home within a relatively short timeframe. However, internally displaced persons (IDPs) interviewed said that the lack of basic services and security in many locations mean that as many as one in five of them feel that they have no choice but to flee the country. The anticipated displacement from a possible effort to retake Mosul could total as many as 1 million over the next year and the international community could witness the flight of hundreds of thousands of further refugees in 2016 alone.

The report makes 54 key recommendations to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and prevent future human rights abuses, as well as making proposals on justice, reconciliation, and asylum issues and improving institutions and legislation.

Report
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Minority Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

Overview of Research Institutes

Identifies, through comparative state practice, the evolution, functions, and financial structures of research institutions on contemporary states. Outlines the utility of research institutions and the five key functions common to most states in their institute models. These five elements include: (1) providing elected leaders, policy makers, and the public with expert advice based on sound scientific evidence; (2) promoting education and public awareness; (3) conducting and fostering research to keep the state current with modern developments and technology; (4) developing creative discoveries and innovative research strategies; and (5) discovering cures to worldwide epidemics.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil Society | Constitutional Development

Requirements for Implementing the Convention Against Torture in Iraq

As Iraq ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”) in July 2008, IILHR constructed this paper to outline requirements for its implementation. The CAT requires countries to prevent acts of torture, train all appropriate personnel, investigate allegations, prosecute those who are accused, and compensate victims. This paper analyzes each article of the CAT and outlines what steps Iraq must take under the convention to comply and those steps Iraq should take to implement the articles.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Civil & Political Rights | Rule of Law

Rules of Procedures of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Delegation for Relations the European Parliament

Draft Rules of Procedure of the Iraqi Council of Representatives delegation for relations with the European Parliament. Constructed following a request by the Council of Representatives. Includes articles related to scope, principles governing the delegations activities, political priorities, membership and leadership, organization, member conduct, travel and expenses, secretariat, budget, and amendment procedures.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Rule of Law

Standing Committee Activity Reports

Suggests means to improve the reporting system for the Council of Representatives to increase transparency and improve and integrate the operations of the Council itself. First steps include developing a standardized questionnaire for all committees so that information can be collected, standardized, and disseminated. IILHR suggests developing a template to incorporate all relevant matters in one document. Suggests contents of such a template.

Legal Memoranda and Analysis
Rule of Law

Women and the Law in Iraq

IILHR released a comprehensive overview of Iraq’s legal framework as it pertains to gender and the laws’ compliance with international standards.

Handbook
Civil & Political Rights | Civil Society | Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights | Rule of Law | Women's Rights

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