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):

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