Protecting civilians in armed conflict


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Since December 2013, when the Islamic State group (ISg) extended its operations, the unabated armed conflict has opposed ISg and government forces and numerous armed non-State actors (ANSAs).

Iraqi government forces are supported by an international coalition of more than 20 States. Popular Mobilization Forces—mainly Shia ANSAs which are not, in practice, subordinated to the armed forces—are a leading combat force. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Peshmerga forces and other Kurdish ANSAs also participate in the armed conflict.

Violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and other international norms, by all weapon bearers, remain widespread.


Thematic areas of work in this country
Humanitarian_norms_dark Landmine_ban_dark Gender_issues_dark Child_protection_dark
Humanitarian norms Landmine ban Gender issues Child protection

Since 2015, Geneva Call has been engaging with Shia, Kurdish and Sunni ANSAs participating in the armed conflict and committing violations of humanitarian norms. Geneva Call also works with community-based organization (CBOs)/civil society organization (CSOs), influential religious and tribal leaders, and other relevant stakeholders that can facilitate the organization’s engagement with ANSAs and contribute to the dissemination of humanitarian norms. The Fighter not Killer campaign is used to raise the awareness of ANSAs, their constituencies and the broader public about humanitarian norms.

Main achievements

  • In 2015, the Affiliate Groups of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) and Peshmerga forces representatives decided to support Geneva Call’s programme in Irak.
  • In 2015 the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government welcomed Geneva Call’s intervention disseminating humanitarian norms to ANSAs and civil society actors.
  • In 2015, 20 political figures signed a humanitarian declaration.
  • In 2015, several ANSAs showed a strong interest in collaborating with Geneva Call to improve their knowledge of humanitarian norms and of the content of the Deeds of Commitment.
  • In 2015, CSOs and tribal leaders were sensitized and welcomed the opportunity to be further trained about humanitarian norms and how to disseminate knowledge about these to ANSAs and communities.
  • In 2015, the public Fighter not Killer campaign was developed further and launched.

In Iraq, Geneva Call works or has worked with the following armed non-State actors:

Organization Active Thematic areas
Landmine ban Child protection Gender issues Humanitarian norms
Affiliate Groups of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) Yes
Ezidkhan Protection Forces (HPE) Yes
Kurdistan Democratic Party – Liwa 80 (Liwa 80) Yes
Kurdistan Regional Government-Erbil (KRG-Erbil) No
  • Kurdistan Regional Government-Peshmerga Forces Yes
    Kurdistan Regional Government-Sulaimanyia (KRG-Sulaimanyia) No
  • Patriotic Union of Kurdistan – Liwa 70 (Liwa 70) Yes
    Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) Yes
    Sunni Popular Mobilization Forces (Sunni PMF) Yes
    Click on the ticks to display the signed Deeds of Commitment

    The ANSA is being engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


    The ANSA was engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


    The ANSA has signed the Deed of Commitment on this thematic area