UNICEF: 5.3 million children in Iraq still deprived of many rights

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

BAGHDAD: On Universal Children’s Day, Tuesday, UNICEF called for an urgent action for Iraq’s most vulnerable children.
 
“Every third child in Iraq, or about 5.3 million children, is still currently deprived of many of their fundamental rights,” said UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq Dr. Marzio Babille.
 
“UNICEF calls on all stakeholders – in government, civil society, the private sector and the international community – to urgently invest in these children to respect their dignity and give them an equal chance to become healthy, productive young citizens of the new Iraq,” Dr. Babille stated.
 
Child rights violations across Iraq that need to be addressed include: inadequate access to and promotion of health services; lack of access to quality education; violence against children in schools and families; psychological trauma from years of extreme violence; discrimination; prolonged detention in juvenile facilities; insufficient attention to the special needs of children with disabilities and who are not in their family environment; and lack of access to information and participation in cultural life.
 
While the majority of children in Iraq experience at least one violation of their fundamental rights, around 1.7 million children, or 10% of all Iraqi children, have most of their rights fulfilled, the UNICEF said in a press release.
 
“There are extreme disparities amongst Iraq’s 16.6 million children,” noted Dr. Babille. “Our collective challenge now is to narrow these gaps between those children who are marginalized, having very limited opportunities to improve their well-being, and the children who have every opportunity to fully progress in their lives.”
 
“Iraq’s National Development Plan, which is currently being revised, is the ideal place to start robustly planning the expanded delivery of essential services across Iraq that will narrow this gap.”

UNICEF is working with the Government of Iraq and partners to ensure children’s rights and best interests are included in policies and that equitable approaches that prioritize the most marginalized children are adopted.
 
“UNICEF remains unwavering in its commitment to support the Government protect all children’s rights and build an Iraq that is fit for all children,” stated Dr. Babille.
 
Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which lays the foundational principles from which all children’s rights must be achieved, and calls for the provision of specific resources, skills and contributions necessary to ensure the survival and development of children to their maximum capability. Iraq ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1994. (QNA)
 

Iraq: Investigate ‘Emo’ Attacks

Iraq: Investigate ‘Emo’ Attacks

Press release16 March 2012

Iraq: Investigate ‘Emo’ AttacksAI Index: PRE01/141/2012

The government of Iraq should immediately investigate and bring to justice those responsible for a targeted campaign of intimidation and violence against Iraqi youth seen as belonging to the non-conformist “emo” subculture, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said today. The attacks have created an atmosphere of terror among those who see themselves as potential victims. To read full report please click here: http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/iraq-investigate-emo-attacks-2012-03-16

A judgment in absentia has been issued on Kamal Abbas, CTUWS general coordinator, of six months imprisonment

Breaking News- A judgment in absentia has been issued on Kamal Abbas, CTUWS general coordinator, of six months imprisonment 

Breaking News

Center for Trade Union & Workers Services (CTUWS), February 29, 2012:

Misdemeanor court of Helwan sentenced in absentia, six months imprisonment on Kamal Abbas, CTUWS general coordinator, on February 26, 2012 in the case NO. 988 of the year 2012 (Misdemeanor of Helwan) for insult a public officer” – according to a referral decision – ” Ismail Ibrahim Fahmy is the Acting President of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF)!, during his speech of the delegation of (ETUF), at  the Session No. 100 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). “

The sessions of the ILO witnessed on Thursday June 9, 2011 a serious confrontation between two Egyptian sides: the official Egyptian Trade Union Federation which belonged to the former regime on one side and both the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services and the Egyptian Independent Trade Union Federation on the other side. Kamal Abbas, the General Coordinator of CTUWS interrupted Ismail Fahmy the Acting President of ETUF while he was delivering his speech. Abbas expressed his rejection that the ETUF continues to represent the Egyptian workers.

 

CTUWS is Expressing its deep concern over the issuance of such a judgment for Kamal Abbas, CTUWS general coordinator, without any clear reason of the law, But declare its refusal to apply sanctions of imprisonment on the Egyptian citizens on the basis of legal materials worthy cancellation because of the violation freedom of expression and human rights, and contrary to the Egyptian Constitutional Declaration as it includes the Article No. 12 states that “freedom of opinion is guaranteed, and every one has the right to express his opinion and publish it either orally , written, photography or other means of expression within the limits of the law, and self-criticism and constructive criticism to ensure the safety of national construction”.

The CTUWS while intends to appeal the court ruling, they confirm continuing its struggle for the right of Egyptian workers in their effort of building Independent Trade Union Organizations. These Independent Trade Union Organizations which should not be headed by “public officers”, but workers leaders and trade unionists defending workers’ interests.

The Egyptian workers should have the right to choose their representatives who speak on their behalf .. CTUWS demands together with all democratic forces that defending freedom of expression to cancel sanctions that is restricting freedom of expression.

CTUWS is calling for these democratic forces for solidarity to face the fierce war which launched by the regime officers.

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The KUWU supports successful workers protest

 

The strike of workers at Taq Taq (T.T.O.P co) Company which began on August 1 by a group of local workers most of them lived in the vicinity of the oil company. Protestors demanded that the company must honor its promises that pledged to workers when they signed their contracts. Protestors demanded improvement to their salaries which is much lower than the salaries of foreign workers working for the same company. In addition, protestors complained about the bad behavior of the company foreign director toward workers. Workers demanded, as well that the company should invest in the community welfare like paving the community main roads and by building some civic premises.    

The Kurdistan United Workers Union (KUWU)  fully support and endorse these legitimate workers demands.

It is wroth to report that these demands were discussed in a agreement reached in a meeting between representatives of the company and workers yesterday 2 August 2011. Present at the meeting were representatives from the Council of Ministers of the Region of Kurdistan Government [Iraq] and the Ministry of Natural Resources. Workers demands were met by the company and thus workers have decided to end their protest on the afternoon of August 2 and resume work again..

The KUWU Executive

Erbil

3 August 2011

IRAQ: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, PUBLIC STATEMENT

European Court criticizes UK for violating human rights in Iraq

 

AI Index EUR 45/009/2011

08 July 2011

Following two landmark judgments from the European Court of Human Rights yesterday, Amnesty International is once again calling on the UK authorities to act decisively to ensure accountability for actions of UK armed forces and officials in Iraq for alleged human rights violations.

In the first of the two cases, Al-Skeini and Others v the United Kingdom, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK was required by the European Convention on Human Rights to conduct independent and effective investigations into the killing of six civilians during security operations carried out by UK soldiers in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. The Court found the UK had failed to ensure such investigations in five of the six cases, in violation of article 2 (right to life) of the Convention. Significantly, the Court rejected arguments by the UK that the European Convention did not apply to the UK’s operations because they occurred outside the UK’s ordinary territory. The Court held that the fact the UK was an occupying force over the territory in question and therefore exercised public powers there meant the European Convention applied. Such a situation, the Court held, was one among a range of scenarios where the Convention applies outside the ordinary territory of European states. (Another example the Court cited was where a state exercises effective physical power and control over an individual by taking him or her into custody, somewhere else in the world).

In the second of the two cases, Al-Jedda v the United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights found that the prolonged internment of the applicant, Hilal Abdul-Razzaq Ali Al-Jedda, for more than three years in a detention centre in Basra, Iraq, run by British forces, violated his right to liberty and security under the European Convention.

The UK claimed that Hilal Al-Jedda was not entitled to the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights at all. It argued that the United Nations alone was legally responsible for the detention, since, it argued, UK forces were acting as part of the Multi-National Force (MNF) in Iraq, under a specific mandate from the UN Security Council. The UK also argued that, even if it was legally responsible for the detention, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions authorized internment and this would override any contrary obligations the UK had under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights rejected the UK’s arguments, finding that the UK was indeed legally responsible for the internment by its forces of Hilal Al-Jedda, and that nothing in the UN mandate disentitled him to the protections of the ECHR. The Court therefore found his internment to violate article 5 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention.

Amnesty International has long been concerned by the UK’s narrow interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights, and its ongoing attempts to deny or limit the applicability of its obligations under international human rights treaties, and domestic laws intended to implement those obligations, to the conduct of the UK’s armed forces overseas. This narrow interpretation has led to the denial of an effective remedy to many individuals whose rights have been, or are alleged to have been, violated by the conduct of UK service personnel. Amnesty International has frequently underscored that the UK’s human rights obligations extended extraterritorially to anybody within its power or effective control and that the UK could not avoid accountability simply by claiming the rights did not apply. These arguments have been further vindicated by today’s rulings from the European Court of Human Rights.     

Following the judgment of the European Court, Amnesty International calls on the UK to ensure that it implements the judgment, including by conducting independent, impartial, thorough and effective investigations into the killings in the Al-Skeini case, as well as with respect to other killings by UK armed forces in Iraq during the same period. The UK must also ensure that victims of serious human rights violations committed by UK armed forces during their operations in Iraq are provided with effective remedy and reparation for those violations.   

While Amnesty International welcomes the rejection of the UK’s arguments that human rights treaty obligations did not apply at all in these two cases at the European Court, it remains concerned by any implication in the reasons given in the Al-Jedda judgment that a UN Security Council resolution might in theory, if it were clearly enough worded in this regard, allow or even oblige states to act in a manner inconsistent with their obligations under international human rights law. Given the Court’s findings in the case about the specific resolution and actions at issue, the hypothetical question of whether some other resolution might have had a different legal effect did not squarely arise. Amnesty International considers that no Security Council resolution purporting to authorize, let alone oblige, states to act in contravention of fundamental principles of human rights could ever in that respect be valid under international law.

Background

The case of Al-Jedda concerned one of the so-called “security internees” detained without charge or trial by the UK contingent of the Multi-National Force (MNF) in Iraq. The applicant, Hilal Al-Jedda, was arrested by US soldiers in Iraq, apparently acting on information provided by British Intelligence services, on 10 October 2004. He was taken to Sha’aibah Divisional Temporary Detention facility in Basra city, a detention centre run by British forces, and held there, without charge or trial until his release on 30 December 2007 over three years later. This type of detention, sometimes called “internment”, is prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights (except perhaps under a valid derogation in certain types of emergencies – the UK did not seek to rely on any derogation in this case).

The case of Al-Skeini relates to the death of six Iraqi civilians at a time when the UK was recognized as an Occupying Power under international humanitarian law. They were: Hazim Jum’aa Gatteh Al-Skeini, aged 23, shot dead in the street by the commander of a British military patrol; Muhammad Abdul Ridha Salim, a teacher aged 45, shot and fatally wounded by a sergeant in a military unit who forcibly entered his brother-in-law’s house; Hannan Mahaibas Sadde Shmailawi, aged 33, shot and fatally wounded by gunfire during an exchange involving a British military patrol while she was eating a family evening meal in her home; Waleed Sayay Muzban, aged 43, shot and fatally injured by a lance corporal during a military patrol while he was driving a minibus; and Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali, aged 15, allegedly beaten and forced into the Shatt Al-Arab river by British soldiers where he drowned.

The sixth death, that of Baha Mousa, a hotel receptionist aged 26, in September 2003, occurred after he was tortured over a period of 36 hours while detained by British troops. A court martial in the UK of seven UK military personnel in relation to the case of Baha Mousa concluded in March 2007. By the end of the proceedings, six of the seven defendants had been acquitted of all charges. One soldier had pleaded guilty to a charge of inhumane treatment – a war crime – and was acquitted of the remaining charges. The court martial confirmed that numerous individuals had been responsible for inflicting unlawful violence on Baha Mousa and other detainees. However, as the judge remarked, many of those responsible were “not charged with any offence simply because there is no evidence against them as a result of a more or less obvious closing of ranks”. In May 2008 a public inquiry was announced into the circumstances of the case, which concluded its oral hearings in October 2010 and is expected to deliver its final report in September 2011. In light of the Inquiry the European Court of Human Rights determined that the father of Baha Mousa, Colonel Daoud Maousa, the sixth applicant in the case of Al-Skeini was no longer of victim of a breach of the procedural obligation to conduct an effective, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of his son’s death, under Article 2 (the right to life).

For further information:

UK: Briefing to the Human Rights Committee, AI Index: EUR 45/011/2008, 25 June 2008, http://www.amnesty.org./en/library/info/EUR45/011/2008/en

United Kingdom: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review, AI Index: EUR 45/20/2007, 21 November 2007, http://www.amnesty.org./en/library/info/EUR45/020/2007/en

Law Lords hear key case on detention without charge or trial by UK forces in Iraq, AI Index: EUR 45/017/2007, 26 October 2007, http://www.amnesty.org./en/library/info/EUR45/017/2007/en

United Kingdom: Amnesty International’s reaction to Law Lords’ judgment in the Al-Skeini & Other case, AI Index: EUR 45/008/2007, 13 June 2007, http://www.amnesty.org./en/library/info/EUR45/008/2007/en

UK: Eleven organisations intervene before House of Lords in case considering the role of UK military in torture and killings of Iraqi civilians, AI Index: EUR 45/007/2007, 16 April 2007, http://www.amnesty.org./en/library/info/EUR45/007/2007/en

UK: Human rights: a broken promise, AI Index: EUR 45/004/2006, 23 February 2006, http://www.amnesty.org./en/library/info/EUR45/004/2006/en  

Iraq: Killings of civilians in Basra and al-‘Amara, AI Index: MDE 14/007/2004, 10 May 2004, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/007/2004/en

End/

Iraqi activist: PM paints protesters as terrorists

BAGHDAD (AP) — A leading Iraqi human rights organizer who confronted the prime minister on national TV says he is trying to paint legitimate protesters as terrorists.
Hana Adwar’s comments were broadcast live Sunday during a human rights conference in Baghdad attended by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and U.N. officials.
Earlier, al-Maliki spoke to the conference and suggested that some human rights activists were actually terrorists, in an apparent attempt to delegitimize the country’s nascent activist movement.
Adwar later got up and yelled at the prime minister, demanding he apologize. Then the TV feed was cut.
Adwar told The Associated Press that she was angry with al-Maliki’s comments and felt she had to speak out

Maliki Has Grudge Against NGOs, Adwar

6/5/2011 6:01 PM
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: A woman activist in human rights field charged premier Nouri Al-Maliki as “having grudge against NGOs, trying to accuse them with different accusations”. 
“These accusations are not appropriate and acceptable”, Hana’ Adwar said. 

Activist Adwar told Aswat al-Iraq that “there is a plan to strike against NGOs because the premier is trying to defame them”. 

She added “it was supposed that the NGO speaker to come, but he did not show up, so I went to Premier Maliki and handed him the poster on the four activists detained last Friday, as well as a letter from Iraqi Human Rights Ministry expressing its concern for the disappearance of Iraqi citizens arrested by security force, though Iraq abided by international accords”. 

Adwar pointed out, while talking to Premier Maliki, that “the four activists were prisoners of opinion, but other criminals are available within the ministers and MPs”. 

 “I asked Premier Maliki to formally apologize to NGOs, and left the session in protest”, she confirmed. 

She disclosed that “the government is cheating the people, while it said that the four detainees will be released today, permission of their families to see them is set to 11 June, which means that their detention will continue to that date”. 

An activist of “Iraqi Streets for Change” Group, who was present on Friday last, told Aswat al-Iraq that the four activists were among 250 protesters when they were arrested and put in an ambulance that led them away.
 
Premier Maliki had set on 28 February 2011 a 100-day time table for the government to evaluate the work of the ministries and the provinces, following massive demonstrations in Baghdad and a number of provinces,  demanding eradication of corruption, improvement of services and living standards as well as putting an end to unemployment.

Iraq Fails to Release GFIW Mechanics’ Union Leader, Others as Promised

Security forces in Iraq are still holding 27-year-old Jihad Jalil, a leader of the Mechanics’ and Printers’ Union of ICEM-affiliated General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW). Jalil and three other young activists have been held at the Al Muthana airport detention centre since they were picked up on their way to a protest at Tahrir Square in Baghdad on 27 March. (See ICEM news release of 30 May.)  For more information please click here: http://www.icem.org/en/78-ICEM-InBrief/4464-Iraq-Fails-to-Release-GFIW-Mechanics-Union-Leader-Others

ICEM Demands Release of Iraq Mechanics’ Union Leader

The ICEM today vehemently condemned the deepening trade union repression occurring in Iraq. In recent days, a youth leader of the Mechanics’ and Printers’ Union of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) and three others were rounded up and presumably jailed, and Jamal Abdul-Jabbar, President of the Oil and Gas Workers’ Union of the GFIW in Kirkuk was forcibly transferred from his job at Northern Oil Company to a remote location due to his union activities.  For more information please click here:  http://www.icem.org/en/77-All-ICEM-News-Releases/4449-ICEM-Demands-Release-of-Iraqi-Mechanics-Union-Leader

TUC: Iraq unions crisis campaign update

Events in Iraq are still moving quickly, since the Labour Ministry issued a decree in April, derecognising the country’s independent trade unions (the General Federation of Iraqi Workers), and seizing control of their assets and upcoming union elections. for more information please click here: http://www.goingtowork.org.uk/iraq-unions-crisis-update/

Iraq: UN Report on Iraq

Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to

paragraph 6 of resolution 1936 (2010)

I. Introduction

1. In paragraph 6 of its resolution 1936 (2010), the Security Council requested

the Secretary-General to report to the Council every four months on the progress

made towards the fulfilment of the responsibilities of the United Nations Assistance

Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The present report is the second submitted pursuant to

that resolution.

2. The report provides an update on the activities of the United Nations in Iraq

since my last report (S/2010/606) of 26 November 2010. It covers key political

developments and regional and international events concerning Iraq, as well as

operational and security matters.  To see full report please click here: S 2011 213 english