Program for Rights & Justice
Our experience shows that justice plays an important role in coping with trauma. However, due to their economic situation or lack of information, many people have no access to legal advice or representation. To respond to this need, we employ a team of lawyers who help ensure that survivors have access to their rights as specified in international human rights law.
Legal Advice and Representation in Court
Many of our clients depend on legal support. Refugees and displaced persons have often lost important papers without which they cannot marry or open a business. Many women want to divorce violent husbands or apply for full custody of their children. We therefore employ lawyers who offer the following legal services:
- General legal advice
- Assistance with difficult administrative procedures
- Representation in court and offices
- Documentation of human rights violations for future legal proceedings
- Educational events on their own rights and effective ways of asserting them
Improved Prison Conditions in Iraqi Prisons
According to international human rights standards, prisoners have a right to access to a lawyer, to a fair trial and to decent treatment. In particular, those suspected of terrorism are often denied these rights in Iraq. For this reason, we are working to improve detention conditions in prisons in northern Iraq by:
- Regular visiting prisons for women and boys under the age of 18
- Informing the detainees of their rights
- Offering human rights seminars for prison staff and police officers
- Informing the public on conditions in Iraqi prisons and the rights of prisoners
Compensation for Victims
Survivors of serious human rights violations such as genocide, torture and crimes against humanity have the right to redress under international law. This includes, among other things, a claim for compensation for injustice suffered.
However, Iraqi law does not recognize crimes against humanity or genocide. The law on the compensation of victims of military acts and acts of terrorism can only be applied to a very limited extent to survivors of the crimes committed by ISIS.
For this reason, we have established a coalition of Iraqi civil society organizations calling for a comprehensive reparation program for all civilian victims of the ISIS-related conflict. The Coalition for Just Reparations allows survivors to voice concerns and share their story, encourages a public debate on transitional justice, and requests the Iraqi government take responsibility for the welfare of its people through a comprehensive reparation program.
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Head of Rights & Justice