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A Scan of Documentation of Threats and Violence Against At-Risk and Marginalized Groups in Iraq

MADRE has conducted a baseline assessment of the types of documentation currently being gathered and published by domestic and international organizations about threats and violence against at-risk and marginalized groups in Iraq.

Since 2003, the people of Iraq have faced conflict and instability on a staggering scale and Iraqi civil society is making concerted efforts to ensure justice for those impacted. As communities are given opportunities to heal and rebuild, attention must also turn to current violence that threatens further instability. In this way, raising awareness about past harms can be coupled with documenting current attacks on the individuals and organizations working towards accountability and greater democratic transparency.

A lack of documentation of crimes, particularly those committed on the basis of gender, results in a lack of justice and contributes to societies’ failure to confront harmful norms that underlie these crimes. Increased documentation can deepen the understanding of how past atrocities link to current attacks on these marginalized groups, and can provide insights on how to reinforce safety measures for individuals and organizations and build sustainable peace. Documentation constitutes an important tool in working with policy makers, providing evidence of the need for change and increased support and protections for those at risk of threats and violence.

This baseline assessment is part of a broader effort to address violence against at-risk groups, aiming to end impunity and build long-lasting solutions for peace in Iraq. To that end, the scan focuses on threats and violence against women’s rights activists; civil society organizations; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) persons; journalists; and other marginalized groups and political minorities such as Afro-Iraqis and people with disabilities. The assessment does not present an exhaustive list of organizations documenting threats and violence against the priority communities, but rather it provides a sample of current documentation efforts and analyses that are relevant to MADRE’s work. The assessment offers recommendations for how MADRE and our Iraqi partners can contribute to and support current efforts, fill documentation gaps, and utilize a gender lens to the threats and violence faced by the priority communities. Read the full report here.

January 29, 2021