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Duhok receives honorary award for welcoming refugees

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Duhok receives honorary award for welcoming refugees

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:46 am

Piling provided the link to this article:
Coalition Reparations
Humanitarian Situation Report

Humanitarian Situation Report on Registered IDPs and refugees in the Kurdistan Region in November 2019

The Kurdistan Region currently hosts more than 1 million of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees; 1,037,446 IDPs and 226,399 Syrian refugees.

Syrian Refugees:

    1. (3,114 families & 15,538 individuals) Syrian Refugees arrived into Kurdistan Region. Most of are coming through informal routes at Sehela and Al-Walid villages at the border since the start of the military operation by the Turkish Army in Northeastern Syria-Rojava on 9 October 2019.

    2. (38 families & 168 individuals) Syrian Refugees have returned to Syria voluntarily.

    3. The New arrived Syrian refugees registered, 49% are females, 51% are males, and 51% are children.

    4. Out of the total number of Syrian Refugees arrived, over 12,395 refugees are sheltered in Bardarash Camp, and over 2,033 new refugees are sheltered in Gawilan Camp, 182 New refugees are sheltered in Domiz camp and the rest around 2000 of the refugees went to the cities.

    5. The number of daily Syrian Refugee arrivals into Kurdistan Region has decreased to an average of around 150-200 individuals daily.

    6. The New Syrian Refugees arrived in Kurdistan are stating that there are strict security controls at the border inside Syria not allowing people to flee and said that they have paid to smugglers inside Syria around USD 250 USD per person to help them reach the border.
Iraqi IDPs

    7. (301 families & 1,339 individuals) Iraqi IDPs have returned to the camps in Kurdistan Region.

    8. (476 families & 2,541 individuals) Iraqi IDPs have left Kurdistan Region either returned or migrated to the second country.
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http://jcc.gov.krd/en/article/read/304? ... ozHFSN7cEo
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Duhok receives honorary award for welcoming refugees

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Re: Kurdistan Refugees Humanitarian Situation Report

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:58 pm

Coalition for Just Reparations

Civil Society in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region Launch the ‘Coalition for Just Reparations’

Eman Abd Ramen of the Women Leadership Institute, a women’s rights NGO based in Baghdad, and one of the members of the Coalition. Source: Coalition for Just Reparations

In an event held in Erbil on 6 November 2019, 25 civil society organisations (CSOs) based in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) announced the establishment of the Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), a joint effort to advocate for reparations for victims of serious violations of international law that took place during the Islamic State (ISIS) conflict.

The Coalition was spearheaded by the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights, and joined by 24 other organisations. Membership remains open for likeminded local CSOs who agree to abide by the founding documents, while the Coalition welcomes financial and technical support from international organisations and CSOs.

The Coalition’s founding documents, the Position Paper and Statute, took months of intense negotiations to finalise. The end product reflects a compromise found between different CSOs representing the diverse populations of Iraq and the KRI, as well as their commitment to advocate for reparations for victims of the ISIS conflict. Highlights from the Position Paper include the demand for reparations for victims of violations committed by all parties to the ISIS conflict, the importance of symbolic and/or collective reparations in addition to material and/or individual reparations, and the emphasis on guarantees of non-repetition. In terms of financing reparations, the Coalition demands Iraq bear the primary responsibility. However, given the involvement of high numbers of foreign ISIS fighters in the crimes committed against the peoples of Iraq, the Position Paper also encourages countries of which these fighters are citizens to assume moral responsibility.

The Position Paper also highlights involvement of CSOs and particularly victims’ and women’s groups representing affected communities in articulating, designing and implementing reparation schemes. Indeed, the Coalition will undoubtedly play a significant role in legislating Iraq’s draft Yazidi Female Survivors’ Law introduced in April 2019, the first bill aimed at specifically addressing harms arising from the ISIS conflict. One of the criticisms brought to the bill was the lack of survivor and civil society consultations in the drafting phase. In July 2019, the International Organization for Migration-Iraq held a workshop where survivors of the IS conflict met with Iraqi policy makers to voice their demands from the bill. The Coalition’s work will hopefully further the efforts to help remedy the lack of survivor consultations before the bill is voted upon in Parliament.

The highlight of the launch event was the panel in which Christian, Kaka’i, Shabak, Turkmen and Yazidi survivors voiced their needs, wishes and demands from prospective reparation programmes as well as the Coalition. The survivors mentioned the disproportionate impact of the ISIS conflict on minorities and how the delay in providing reparations is worsening the conditions survivors are forced to endure. Nearly all of the survivors were displaced and had lost breadwinners, which often meant more than one family was now financially dependent on the same person. Even then, livelihood opportunities are scarce and working conditions often unbearable. Compensation in the form of monthly payments, particularly for families of victims, arose as a mutual demand, as well as measures aimed at economically empowering survivors such as livelihood programmes and vocational trainings.

Many survivors emphasised the need for further medical and psychosocial support. One mentioned that government employees laughed at him when he applied to have his physical injuries and mental harm recognised for the purposes of receiving care, which highlights the importance of capacity building for service providers to ensure all are trained in trauma-sensitive approaches and treat survivors with the respect for their dignity they deserve.

Survivors also highlighted that thousands are missing, with their fates still unknown. They demanded search and rescue operations for those still in captivity. Six Yazidis, five women and one child, were rescued from al-Hol camp in Hasakah in July 2019, and more are thought to be in Syria and other neighbouring countries. Survivors also demanded the acceleration and expansion of efforts to exhume mass graves, identify and return remains, and hold dignified burials. Memorialisation to honour the victims was among the demands.

Survivors commended the draft reparation bill, but demanded that men and children be included in its scope, rather than just women. Importantly, they emphasised the necessity of including all survivors in the bill’s scope, not just Yazidis as its current form would suggest. They also asked that efforts be accelerated to enact the bill, and voiced their expectations that the Coalition ensure survivors’ demands are conveyed to policymakers and there is push to enact it as soon as possible.

The Coalition is well placed to undertake this mission on behalf of survivors. In fact, CSOs often play a key role in reparation programs, be it during initial debates to conceptualise reparations, supporting policy making, or through implementation and oversight. They are often the bridge between survivors/beneficiaries and policymakers, making their involvement crucial for ensuring meaningful and effective victim participation in the process from start to finish. In Argentina, CSOs successfully lobbied for a special legal category for the forcibly disappeared to allow families to seek reparations without having to declare their loved ones dead, and were also influential in enacting a law providing reparations for families of the disappeared. In Cambodia, CSOs created a project addressing forced marriages under the Khmer Rouge regime through classical dance based on testimonies of survivors, which was later endorsed by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia as a reparation measure. In Colombia, CSOs successfully challenged a provision in the law on reparations for sexual violence before the Constitutional Court that made the implementation of the health protocol optional, which had caused discriminatory practices and hindered many survivors’ access to reparation measures.

The Coalition is already planning to undertake similar activities such as research on survivors’ needs and expectations, domestic and international advocacy and lobbying, creating platforms for dialogue, and monitoring implementation of existing reparation laws. Members already possess a wealth of experience in supporting survivors of serious violations of international law. Through this Coalition, they will combine their expertise, presenting a stronger, unified front to advocate for the survivors’ right to reparation.

‘We don’t have any hope that the government will do anything for us,’ said one of the survivors. This sentiment isn’t surprising given the inaction of the past five years, nor is it unique to direct and indirect victims of the ISIS conflict. Recent protests in Iraq, which have turned out to be one of the most popular mass movements in the country’s recent history, point to the need for urgent structural reform. The government’s response to the protests has been brutal, with at least 105 dead and 5,655 injured on 25 October – 4 November alone, according to the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights.

It appears this new wave of violence, this time perpetrated directly by state actors, will cause further grievances that Iraq will have to come to terms with eventually. Perhaps the country will also implement transitional justice mechanisms, similar to elsewhere in the region following the Arab Spring. Reparations, as one of the most concrete mechanisms to support survivors, should be a priority then as well. Hopefully, the Coalition’s work will influence the broader human rights agenda in Iraq to incorporate a constant demand for reparations in addition to criminal justice, truth-seeking and institutional reform.

Note: The Coalition’s website is currently under construction. To reach the Coalition in the meantime, please contact Bojan Gavrilovic, Legal Advisor at Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights, at b.gavrilovic@jiyan-foundation.org

This blogpost is part of the LSE research project Reforming Legal Responses to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region by Güley Bor, examining how laws in Iraq could be reformed to provide better response to female survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. This project forms part of the Conflict Research Small Grants Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development to provide research and policy advice on how the risk and impact of violent conflict might be more effectively reduced through development and governance interventions.

Güley Bor is an international lawyer and researcher with a focus on transitional justice and gender in Iraq and Turkey. She tweets at @BorGuley

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2019/11/15/ ... parations/
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Re: Kurdistan Refugee Report & Coalition for Just Reparation

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:58 pm

Duhok receives award

Duhok province received an honorary award for its role in welcoming more than two million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on Saturday

The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Peace Prize went to the Lebanese city of Arsal for " initiating and facilitating dialogues and mediation between Lebanese and Syrian refugees in a post-IS municipality."

Duhok received an honorary award alongside the cities of Bogota, Santiago de Cali and Manizales in Colombia for their different roles in promoting peace.

The UCLG Peace Prize generates international public attention for the role local governments play in ensuring sustainable and peaceful development.

Duhok was selected as a finalist for its hospitality in "welcoming a huge influx of refugees and providing a safe haven with equal treatment and equal access to municipal and health facilities."

Duhok set up the Board of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs (BRHA) to implement initiatives welcoming war-affected refugees and IDPs, a move which was recognized by the UCLG.

According to the board, Duhok governorate is home to 21 camps, 17 of which house IDPs.

"According to the criteria set for winning the prize, Duhok province was deemed as the city of co-existence as it has managed to host, protect and serve hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs from various ethnic and national groups," Fahim Abdulla, head of the Duhok Provincial Council, told Rudaw on Saturday.

"Duhok now has around 2 million inhabitants (with many different religious backgrounds) who all live in peace together, which is a good reflection of [the] coexistence for which Duhok is famous," he added.

Since October 9 as many as 15,000 refugees fled northern Syria and crossed into Duhok amid the Turkish offensive on Kurdish forces, sparking mass displacement and a humanitarian crisis.

In a surprise visit last week, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani welcomed new arrivals escaping the violence in the Kurdish enclave known as Rojava Kurdistan.

"This is your home," he told them.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/17112019
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