GICJ Written Statements submitted to the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council
The participation of Geneva International Centre for Justice at the 19th session of the Human Rights Council included the submission of several written statements on various human rights issues, including the human rights violations in Iraq. In addition to the overall human rights violations in Iraq issues such as death penalty and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, the rule of law, education, health, and women's and children's rights were also covered.
Agenda Item 3 - Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
For two decades, Iraqi children have been subjected to grave violations of human rights. Due to decades of war, foreign occupation and international sanctions, Iraq has turned into one of the worst places for children in the Middle East and North Africa with around 3.5 million living in poverty, 1.5 million under the age of five undernourished and 100 infants dying every day, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
In its reports about human rights situation in Iraq UNAMI (the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq) expresses its serious concerns about the administration of justice and the rule of law in Iraq – particularly in relation to the observance and respect for due process and fair trial standards, as well as the physical conditions in pre-trial and post-conviction detention facilities and prisons. This statement will summarise the main issues related to detention and Rule of Law in Iraq, including torture and mistreatment, as presented in the more recent UNAMI/ OHCHR report issued in 2011.
Since the war in Iraq in 2003, tens of thousands of Iraqi people have been seeking family members who were being missing as a result to the war. The number of missing persons in Iraq ranges from 250,000 to up to one million according to different public sources. Tens of thousands of Iraqis disappeared during the worst days of the war between 2005 and 2007. Some were seen picked up by uniformed militias and piled into lorries; others simply seemed to vanish. The fate of many missing Iraqis remains unknown. Many are languishing in one of Iraq's notoriously secretive prisons.
For two decades, Iraqi children, along with the rest of the population, have been subjected to grave human rights violations, caused by decades of war, foreign occupation and international sanctions, Iraq has turned into one of the worst places for children in the Middle East and North Africa with around 3.5 million living in poverty, 1.5 million under the age of five undernourished and 100 infants dying every day, the UN Children's Fund
Since the invasion in 2003, the US/UK forces and the Iraqi authorities grossly failed to fulfil their most basic duties towards the children of Iraq in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Resolution 25/ Session 44, November 1989.
Iraq’s education system, once vaunted as the most advantaged in the region, has suffered a patterned process of degradation and dismantling. Iraqi schools and universities were bombed and destroyed. Under the occupation, according to a report by the United Nations University International Leadership Institute in Jordan, some 84% of Iraq’s institutions of higher education have been burned, looted, or destroyed. Some 2.000 laboratories need to be re-equipped and 30.000 computers need to be procured and installed nationwide.
Among the many tragedies that have befallen Iraqi society as a consequence of the US-led 2003 invasion, has been the physical elimination of hundreds or thousands of Iraqi academics in what has every appearance of being a systematic campaign of targeted assassination.
Iraqi academics began to fall victim to well-organised teams of assassins who ambushed them as they went about their daily lives, typically killing them instantly. Such killings account for the substantial majority of recorded deaths. Whilst some initial speculation suggested that the killings targeted scientists who had been involved in weapons programmes, the victims included many that could not have been.
This report will focus on the violations by the occupying forces and the Iraqi authorities of the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: CRC Article 28, 29.
Since the invasion in 2003, the US-UK occupation forces and the Iraqi authorities grossly failed to fulfill their most basic duties towards the children of Iraq in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Resolution 25/ Session 44, November 1989. Principles of the CRC emphasized the need to protect children‟s rights‟ to life and physical, mental, moral, and spiritual development in a safe environment.
Between 1960 and 2003, Iraqi women had successfully gained access to education, health care and employment, and their political and economic participation had significantly advanced. The women and girls of Iraq have borne the biggest brunt of this conflict and resulting insecurity after the 2003 invasion. “For Iraqi women, who enjoyed some of the highest levels of rights protection and social participation in the region before 1991, this has been an enormously bitter pill to swallow."
Agenda Item 3 - Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. and Item 4 - Human rights situation that require the Council's attention.
Since the beginning of 2012, Iraq has executed at least 65 prisoners, 51 of them in January, and 14 more on February 8, for various offences. The Iraqi government seems to have given state executioners the green light to execute at will. The government needs to declare an immediate moratorium on all executions and begin an overhaul of its flawed criminal justice system. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
Agenda Item 2 - Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General. and Item 4 - Human rights situation that require the Council's attention.
This written statement will summaries to the Council and Civil Society representatives the main issues related to human rights situation in Iraq as presented in UNAMI/ OHCHR above mentioned report. The report affirmed that the Government of Iraq has an obligation to ensure law and order throughout its territory. In so doing, it must conform to international legal norms it has accepted or which are binding on it. The Iraqi Constitution1 at Article 8 states, “Iraq... shall respect its international obligations.”
International law applicable to Iraq includes human rights norms which are considered customary international law, as well as a number of human rights treaties to which Iraq is a party.
Participation of GICJ at Human Rights Council Sessions
Human Rights Council - 35th regular session (6 June - 24 June 2017)
Human Rights Council - 34th regular session (27 February - 24 March 2017)
Human Rights Council - 33rd regular session (10 September - 30 September 2016)
Human Rights Council - 32nd regular session (13 June - 1 and 8 July 2016)
Human Rights Council - 31st regular session (29 February - 24 March 2016)
Human Rights Council - 30th regular session (14 September - 2 October 2015)
Human Rights Council - 29th regular session (15 June - 3 July 2015)
Human Rights Council - 22nd special session on the human rights situation in Iraq in light of abuses committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups - 1 September 2014:
Human Rights Council - 21st special session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem - 23 July 2014:
Human Rights Council - 26th regular session (10 - 27 June 2014):
Human Rights Council - 25th regular session (3 - 28 March 2014):
Human Rights Council - 24th regular session (9 - 27 September 2013):
Human Rights Council - 23rd regular session (27 May - 14 June 2013):
Human Rights Council - 22nd regular session (25 February - 22 March 2013):
Human Rights Council - 21st regular session (10 - 28 September, 5 November 2012):
Human Rights Council - 19th regular session (27 February - 23 March 2012):