GICJ Written Statements submitted to the 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council
GICJ and Brussells Tribunal coordinated the work of more than 300 NGOs and submitted to the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council reports covering the human rights situation in Iraq. Issues covered included death penalty, enforced disappearences and missing persons, women's rights, children's rights, education, and rule of law.
Agenda Item 3 - Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
- The impact of ten years of occupation on Iraqi children 2003-2013
The impact of ten years of occupation since 2003 on Iraqi children has been disastrous. Due to war and occupation in addition to the sanctions starting in 1990, Iraq has turned into one of the worst places for children in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) around 3.5 million children are living in poverty, 1.5 million under the age of five are undernourished and 100 infants die every day.
- The death penalty in Iraq 2003-2013
The arbitrary killing of people, also when it is committed behind a smokescreen of flawed legal processes, is not solely a matter of domestic concern. Iraq should take note that the international community will take strong exception to a continuation of its flagrant disregard of the norms applicable to the protection of the right to life. Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
- Disappearances and missing persons in Iraq 2003-2013
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 2003 and 2013. 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.
- The Iraqi education system 2003-2013
"The Education system in Iraq, prior to 1991, was one of the best in the region; with over 100% Gross Enrolment Rate for primary schooling and high levels of literacy, both of men and women. The Higher Education, especially the scientific and technological institutions, were of an international standard, staffed by high quality personnel". (UNESCO Fact Sheet, March 28, 2003).
As a result of U.S. Invasion and occupation of Iraq, today Iraq is more illiterate than it was twenty-five years ago, because the occupying power began its occupation by destroying every aspect of Iraq’s education.
- The administration of justice and the rule of law in Iraq 2003-2013
UNAMI regrets that its access to prisons, detention centres and other facilities where persons are deprived of their liberty was problematic in certain areas of Iraq, owing to the security situation generally or because access was restricted or prevented by the Government of Iraq. In some instances, despite UNAMI’s mandate under international law, the Government of Iraq prohibited UNAMI access or failed to respond within a reasonable time to UNAMI requests for visit permits. In other instances, UNAMI was allowed to enter facilities, but was denied access to any detainees or was prevented from speaking to detainees in private.
- The situation of Iraqi women during war and occupation 2003-2013
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 4 - Human rights situation that require the Council's attention.
- Accountability and restoring justice for Iraq
The 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq, launched by the United States and Britain – also known as “The Coalition of the Willing” undoubtedly falls under the definition of Crime against Peace according to Nuremberg charter, namely article 6 Para (a). Such a war entails legal consequences for the aggressors and provides rights for the victims. All countries that have participated must be held accountable.
Contrary to voices that referred to the invasion as “liberation”, the 10 years of occupation (2003-2013) has caused immense destruction to Iraq. The U.S. has pursued a policy of division that resulted in a failed state with a fractious society, which finally led to the collapse of public services. Human rights have been systematically violated, the heritage of thousands of years destroyed and an ancient, deeply rooted culture thrown into chaos.
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):