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Project ID:00113517Description:UNA057- Reparation for CRSV Su
Fund:
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 4 Jan 2019
Theme:
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
End Date*: 31 Dec 2019
Country: United Nations Project Status: On Going
  Participating Organization:   IOM - International Org Migration
About

UNA057 Creating conditions for development and implementation of Reparations for Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) in Iraq

 

Widespread and systematic human rights violations in Iraq, including Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV), have been extensively reported. A number of national and international institutions and civil society organizations have been consistently involved in addressing these issues. These efforts range from protection measures, direct humanitarian and immediate psychosocial support to the survivors to documentation of violations and advocacy for justice. However, the focus on securing sustainable and comprehensive remedies and reparations for the survivors of CRSV and other violations has been fairly limited. The right to effective remedy is enshrined in humanitarian law and international human rights law as established in international and regional instruments, and as stated by General Assembly resolution 60/146 (December 2005) Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.[1] Achieving sustainable peace and development requires a holistic approach to addressing the underlying causes of conflict, and reparations play an ever-increasing role in reconciliation, peace-building and reconstruction efforts. Reparations can also contribute to tackling a culture of impunity and addressing structural gender-based inequalities that drive sexual violence in conflict. For survivors of CRSV, the need to provide redress and recognition of harms suffered is greater than ever; as are the needs to combat stigma and harmful attitudes towards survivors and increase survivors’ knowledge of and access to their rights, justice, assistance and rehabilitation.

This project will focus on filling several critical gaps which have been identified through IOM engagement with the affected communities, the preliminary assessment of the feasibility and modalities for reparations for survivors of CRSV conducted by IOM in June 2018 as well the reports and analysis by other agencies and the media.

The gaps identified by IOM include:

a) The need for immediate action toward quick, efficient and sustainable solutions  to address the needs and rights of the survivors and affected communities;

b) The lack of awareness among the survivors of CRSV, the affected communities and the public about the right to access to adequate remedies and especially reparations;

c) The lack of comprehensive mapping of the multitude of actors who are currently providing various types of assistance to the survivors, their capacities as well as the type of assistance being provided;

d) The lack of consolidated analysis of the scale, the models and the quality of the efforts to document the cases of CRSV violations for the purpose of victim assistance and reparations;

e) The need for improved capacity of the local NGOs and CSOs to advocate for reparations and assist the CRSV survivors in demanding and receiving reparations and other remedies;

f) The lack of knowledge, experience and capacity among the local and central authorities to develop and implement comprehensive and survivor-centred reparations initiatives;

g) The absence of adequate legal frameworks and mechanisms to provide comprehensive and efficient victim assistance, reparations and long-term sustainable care for the survivors of CRSV.

In addition, IOM has observed that the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government, are positively inclined to provide assistance and care for the survivors of CRSV and other violations and are committed to finding durable solutions for displaced population and recognition for the individual victims and communities which have been subjected to gross human rights violations in the hand of ISIL and other actors.

While the general notion and practice of transitional justice might not have been in the central focus of the Iraqi policy makers, mostly due to priority of defeating ISIL and liberating the occupied territories, the key national actors at central and local level have already embarked on variety of reconciliation and social cohesion initiatives. Moreover, the notion of remedies for violations, ranging from human to property loss, is not new to Iraq legislation, institution and public. For example, the Iraqi Law 20 offers possibilities for compensation for human suffering or property loss due to the terrorist or counter-terrorist operations. However, this legislation was developed under different circumstances and provides only for financial compensation, while the mechanisms through which these types of remedies are supposed to be administered (Iraq Judicial System) seems to be inadequate for the complexity and the volume of grievances arising from the ISIL occupation and violations. The limitations of the current legislation and mechanisms to provide comprehensive and effective remedies for violations has already been discussed and agreed between IOM and key Government stakeholders during IOM efforts to address the Housing, Land and Property violations. 

Consequently, in order to address the above gaps, challenges and opportunities, the project will seek to increase the knowledge and understanding about rights to reparations and remedy among the survivors and their representatives, improve the capacity of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to advocate for and engage in development of reparations policy and increase the capacity of the local authorities and government institutions to develop and implement immediate victim assistance programmes, as well as comprehensive reparations frameworks and mechanisms for the CRSV survivors. The final outcomes of the project will be increased and consolidated victim assistance programmes undertaken by the Iraqi authorities and international partners and  broad consensus between all stakeholders, including survivors, civil society and government, about the way forward, and a report containing clear recommendations about a comprehensive legal framework, survivor-centred procedures and efficient and sustainable mechanisms for reparations and long-term care for survivors of CRSV in Iraq.

The ultimate beneficiaries of this project will be the survivors of CRSV in Iraq. The intermediary beneficiaries will be the NGOs and the CSOs currently working or planning to work on providing support and care for the CRSV survivors, the local authorities and Iraqi institutions which have moral and legal responsibility to provide redress and remedies. 

By increasing the ability of the survivors to understand their rights and formulate their expectations and by increasing the capacity of the NGOs and CSOs to advocate on their behalf, the project will create a critical knowledge and capacity base to engage the authorities in Iraq and international actors. By improving the capacity of the local authorities and the Government of Iraq the project will create a fertile ground where the demands and expectations of the survivors will be received and addressed in an informed and proactive manner.

In line with the Iraq National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, the project seeks to contribute to the protection, security and prevention of violence against women and girls and efforts to address impunity for crimes committed against women’s rights; contributions are made towards pillars 2 (protection and prevention), 3 (promotion) and 5 (legislation and law enforcement), of the NAP respectively. It furthermore seeks to promote and realize the rights to remedy and reparation in line with overarching efforts to achieve social justice in all spheres of life and promote gender equality.

More specifically, the United Nations/Iraq Joint Communique´ to Prevent and Address Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (2016), signed by SRSG-SVC on behalf of the United Nations, commits the United Nations and the Government of Iraq to, inter alia, “ensur[e] the provision […] of reparations for survivors [of conflict-related sexual violence] and children born of rape.” The visit of SRSG Patten to Iraq in March 2018 led to the development of the Joint Communique´’s Implementation Plan, and this project seeks to fill a critical gap by providing support to that aspect of the Joint Communiqué with targeted assistance to the Iraqi Government and victims’ groups on victims’ assistance and reparations.

As increased donor, media and public attention has turned to Iraq – most recently and notably with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Nadia Murad (and Denis Mukwege) for working to end sexual violence –the project represents a catalytic opportunity to leverage UN Action resources to make concrete progress and attract resources from other donors looking for ways to support victims’ assistance and reparations mechanisms in Iraq.

 


[1] See also Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: reparations for conflict-related sexual violence.

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