Wednesday, 11 December 2019 14:42

International Human Rights Day commemorated across Iraq

Baghdad, 11 December 2019 – UNAMI held events across Iraq on 10 December to commemorate International Human Rights Day.

Marking this year’s global theme “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights” - “Young people are powerful”, UNAMI facilitated an event in Baghdad, bringing together a group of youth artists who stand up for human rights through visual arts and murals. The event aimed to celebrate the potential of young people in Iraq, encouraging youth to keep human rights central – including respect for the dignity and freedom of others – in their demands to be heard.

In the Kurdistan Region, UN Deputy Special Representative Alice Walpole joined officials in Halabja to mark the closure of the 28th annual campaign of ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence,’ which ends each year on 10 December, and to celebrate the role of youth in promoting human rights.

“In Iraq, a historical legacy of discrimination against women, combined with the societal trauma resulting from years of conflict, have left women and girls particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence,” she said. DSRSG Walpole welcomed Iraq’s National Strategy to Combat Gender-Based Violence and encouraged strengthening of the national legal framework prohibiting gender-based violence.

Also, as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the UNAMI Human Rights Office delivered a training “Prevention and Response to Gender-based Violence (GBV)” to staff of the Family Protection Unit of the Kirkuk police and youth human rights activists from local civil society organizations. In line with this year’s theme “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights,” the voice and efforts of young Iraqis is critical to building a future free from gender-based violence.

Danielle Bell, the Chief of the Human Rights Office at UNAMI, said this year’s Human Rights Day themes are fitting for Iraq. “This event is about celebrating the potential of young people in Iraq and encouraging active dialogue on the protection of human rights,” she said at the opening of the event in Baghdad.

In Basra, the UNAMI Human Rights Office brought together 50 youths, representing religious minorities, human rights defenders and civil society, to celebrate the leadership role of youth and their collective movements as a source of inspiration for a better future. Participants discussed the role of the young people in standing up for human rights.

In Ninewa, the UNAMI Human Rights Office brought together a group of human rights defenders in the recently opened Mosul Field Office of UNAMI. The roundtable event included discussion on the challenges of acting in the civic space and the work of human rights defenders in Ninewa governorate.

UNAMI reiterates its support to all the people of Iraq in their aspiration to enjoy their full human rights and fundamental freedoms, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI

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