Protecting civilians in armed conflict
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Iraq: training the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Human Rights Monitoring Unit on the law of armed conflict

4th January 2018 | Iraq -

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Geneva Call, in collaboration with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports (HCERIR), organized two workshops on international humanitarian law (IHL) for the Committee’s members and senior focal points from several KRG ministries—Interior, Foreign Affairs, Education, and Health—and media officials from the Prime Minister’s office. Altogether, 31 participants attended the workshops, which took place in November 2017 in Erbil.

The HCERIR is committed to responding to reports released by the international community about the situation in the Kurdistan region, particularly with regards to human right issues. It has focal points in all the KRG’s ministries and can formulate recommendations to the Ministry of Peshmerga with a view to increasing respect for the law of armed conflict.

Geneva Call initiated a dialogue with the HECRIR to provide it with assistance in its initiative of setting up a special committee on issues of IHL within the HCERIR.

In his opening statements, Dr Dindar Zebari said, “Collaborating with Geneva Call in a series of workshops gave our office sufficient information on international humanitarian law and its implications. Such workshops are very relevant to the current events unfolding in Iraq and the Kurdistan region, and we look forward to continuing this collaboration in the future.” 

“The course helped me to be more vigilant about the rules and regulations which have to be respected by the parties to the conflict. It was very much related to our duty and vocation, and it will certainly have a very positive impact on the levels of our performance as it broadened our knowledge and vision,” said Chiman Salih, a participant in the workshop and the Legal and Media Consultant for the Prime Minister’s office.

Geneva Call’s Head of Mission in Iraq (including the Kurdistan Region), Atif Hameed, thanked Dr Zebari for this initiative, which raised awareness on humanitarian norms among senior government officials.

 

This programme is supported by the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.