Webinar: “Options for Survivor-centered Justice in Iraq”
Discussing practical suggestions on how an ISIL Accountability Mechanism in Iraq can best serve the cause of justice and interests of survivors and their communities
Co-hosted by: Coalition for Just Reparations, Jiyan Foundation, Yazda and International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
Date: Monday, December 19th, 10:00-12:00 (EST); 16:00-18:00 (CET); 18:00-20:00 (AST)
Register in advance via:
The roundtable will be conducted as a virtual event, with simultaneous interpretation in English and Arabic.
Session and Presenter
16:00 — 16:15
Ms. Alice Nderitu, UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide (pre-recorded message)
Dr. Simon Adams, President and CEO of the Center for Victims of Torture
Ms. Farida Khalaf, Survivor, activist, author and president of the Farida Global Organization
16:15 — 16:30
Overview of the Position Paper on an ISIL Accountability Mechanism in Iraq
Ms. Fiona McKay, Expert in International Criminal Justice/Reparations
16:30 — 16:45
Survivor Statements on challenges and expectations related to criminal justice
C4JR Survivor´s Council Members
16:45 — 17:00
Remarks – United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD)
Mr. Jörn Oliver Eiermann, Legal Adviser, UNITAD
17:00 — 17:20
Key selected topic:
Effective participation, access to reparations and ensuring safety, well-being, dignity and privacy of survivors in criminal proceedings
Ms. Silke Studzinsky, International Criminal Law Expert
17:20 — 17:35
Current prospects for holding ISIL/Da’esh members accountable for international crimes under Iraqi law
Mr. Saib Khidir, Former member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives
17:35 — 17:55
Q & A
17:55 — 18:00
Summing up the discussion and mapping the way forward
Ms. Natia Navrouzov, Legal Advocacy Director, Yazda
Despite the fact that the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) has made progress in collecting evidence of ISIL crimes against Yazidis, Shia, Sunni, Christian, Kaka’i, Shabak and Turkmen Shia and even found “clear and convincing evidence that genocide was committed by ISIL against the Yazidi as a religious group”, no tangible progress has been made in the past eight years in Iraq to prosecute those responsible for these horrific crimes.
Necessity of ensuring criminal accountability has also been recognized by Iraqi lawmakers as the Yazidi Survivors Law enacted in March 2021 declared, in Article 7, that crimes committed by Daesh against the Yazidis, Turkmen, Christian and Shabak minority groups shall be considered genocide and crimes against humanity, and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would work to reveal these crimes in international forums and to initiate criminal proceedings against the perpetrators.
Both the Human Rights Committee and the Committee Against Torture in their Concluding Observations on Iraq, issued in March and May 2022 respectively, called the Iraqi Government to investigate and prosecute sexual offences committed by ISIL members during the armed conflict in Iraq and ensure perpetrators are punished and the victims or members of their families accorded full reparation. The Committee Against Torture highlighted that Iraq should guarantee the victims’ right to participate in criminal proceedings effectively, accompanied by safeguards to avoid stigmatization, hence re-traumatization.
In August 2022 Yazda and C4JR published a Position Paper on an ISIL Accountability Mechanism in Iraq outlining basic legal, policy and practical contours of a mechanism to bring ISIL members responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice for their crimes.
This Position Paper was the outcome of ten months of intensive discussion between C4JR members aimed at identifying principles on which the long overdue criminal accountability mechanism for ISIL should be based. The discussion was informed by the views of survivors and by past experiences of accountability processes for atrocity crimes in Iraq, and grounded in Iraqi as well as international law and best practices. Its purpose is to bring in fresh momentum to the pursuit of criminal accountability for international crimes committed by ISIL in Iraq by delineating best international practices on involving survivors and respecting their rights and needs during criminal proceedings against the perpetrators. The position paper also strives to put forward concrete solutions, rather than general demands, on how to respect and acknowledge individual survivors, their families and communities in the prospective criminal proceedings.
The aim of this event is to discuss the practical solutions outlined in the Position Paper and signpost the way forward by building on the positive momentum of the new Government of Iraq being elected after a yearlong delay.
Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR) is an alliance of Iraqi NGOs who came together to call for comprehensive reparations for survivors of atrocity crimes perpetrated during the ISIL conflict in Iraq. C4JR seeks to provide a collaborative and safe space where grievances of survivors belonging to all affected groups (Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kakai, Christians, Shia, Sunnis, and others) will be adequately addressed.
About Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights
Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization that supports survivors of human rights violations, defends fundamental freedoms, and promotes democratic values throughout the world. Jiyan Foundation seeks to build democratic societies that protect the dignity of the human being, where adults and children enjoy the rights to life and freedom, and citizens are free from violence, torture, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations.
Our programs, projects, and initiatives provide mental health, medical treatment, and other health services to survivors of trauma, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations. Our work supports nine treatment centers, a clinic for Yazidi women and families, a Healing Garden, and mobile teams helping survivors in 11 refugee and IDP camps in nine regions throughout Kurdistan-Iraq, Iraq, and Syria. Since 2005 these programs have provided support to over 100,000 people.
Yazda is an international charitable organization that was established in 2014, three weeks after the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (“ISIL” also known as Da’esh) commenced its genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Yazda’s main branch is registered in the United States under Article 501(c)(3). Yazda is also registered in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Australia.
About the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICR2P) is a community of commitment made up of over 60 civil society and non-governmental organizations from around the world who are dedicated to the promotion of human rights, the prevention of atrocities and the effective and consistent implementation of the Responsibility to Protect. Founded in 2009 by eight organizations, the Coalition now includes members representing all regions of the world. Working with local human rights defenders, global advocates and campaigners for international justice, the Coalition’s membership works to enhance our collective capacity to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.