New Government in Iraq Must Address The Root Causes of Extremism

Montreal, Canada, 23 September 2014


(Rome, September 23 , 2014) – Far-reaching political and social reforms are essential to confront the root causes of extremism in Iraq, Iraqi and international human rights groups said today in a joint statement.

On November 3rd, Iraq will undergo a formal review of its human rights obligations by the UN Human Rights Council. Since its first examination under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2010, the human rights situation in Iraq has deteriorated significantly. Recent security challenges presented by the invasion of large parts of Iraq’s territory by IS extremists and their brutal crimes have focused international attention on the occurrence of serious human rights violations, crimes against humanity, slavery and crimes of genocide.

As the Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed “Even though this conflict has severely reduced the Iraqi Government’s control over large parts of its territory, the Government continues to bear primary responsibility for the protection of all persons on its territory, and must endeavour to implement its obligations”.

Iraq civil society organizations working with international human rights groups have developed a briefing document that highlights the severe, ongoing human rights violations in Iraq from a civil society perspective. The document, released today, proposes questions and recommendations that should be brought to the attention of the Iraqi government. As the Universal Periodic Review is a State-driven process, the report also urges the Human Rights Council, its members and observer states to raise these questions and make their own recommendations during the review.

The international community must support the Iraqi government in providing protection for its citizens and investigating grave human rights violations. At the same time the new government in Iraq must address urgent issues of water scarcity, protection of human rights defenders and journalists, promoting women’s and worker rights, and guaranteeing freedom of expression.

A delegation of Iraqi civil society will be attending the review on November 3rd. It will also hold meetings with State representatives at the Universal Periodic Review pre-sessions in October in Geneva, and with Members of the European Parliament in Brussels.

Civil society in Iraq continues to advocate for addressing the root causes of extremism in Iraq, pushing for the new Iraqi government to adopt far-reaching political and social reforms to protect and promote fundamental human rights and freedoms, and ensure the meaningful participation of all members of Iraqi civil society. Meaningful cultural and political change can only come about through a truly participatory process.

Un Ponte Per … (Italian organization with ECOSOC consultative status)
Association for Progressive Communications (APC) (organization with ECOSOC consultative status)
Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) (Iraqi and International coalition )

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Media Contact:
Ismaeel Dawood
Ph: +39 3291345117

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