UN ASSISTANCE MISSION FOR IRAQ (UNAMI)
Last update of this source description: 18 January 2008, current as at 18 October 2011.
The data given in this source description focus on the work of the UNAMI Human Rights Office (HRO) and its publications.
“The Human Rights Office (HRO) of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) engages in the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law in close collaboration with Iraqi governmental and non-governmental sectors, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1770 (2007), paragraph 2 (c), which mandates UNAMI to “promote the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform in order to strengthen the rule of law in Iraq.” (UNAMI Website, http://www.uniraq.org/FileLib/misc/HR%20Report%20Apr%20Jun%202007%20EN.pdf, accessed on 18 January 2008)
Journalists, donors, civil society, governments, United Nations, NGOs.
In order to fulfil its mandate, “UNAMI HRO monitors the human rights situation in Iraq and assists, especially through capacity-building activities, in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of state and civil society institutions. It collaborates closely with national human rights activists and seeks to maintain direct contact with victims and witnesses of human rights violations.” (UNAMI Website, http://www.uniraq.org/FileLib/misc/HR%20Report%20Apr%20Jun%202007%20EN.pdf, accessed on 18 January 2008)
The governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission are participating in funding UNAMI. These 24 countries and the European Commission are donating through the United Nations – World Bank International Trust Fund Facility for Iraq (UNAMI Website, http://www.uniraq.org/donors/irffi.asp?pagename=irffi, accessed on 12 June 2007).
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Iraq.
Thematic focus: Human Rights Reports: Human rights and the rule of law; Map Center with geographic and thematic maps.
Other UNAMI publications: Humanitarian updates, reconstruction and development updates, situation reports, bulletins, press releases and speeches. Furthermore, Security Council resolutions, Secretary-General reports to the Security Council and Security Council meetings are available on the website of UNAMI.
UNAMI’s reporting on the human rights situation in Iraq is based on information obtained through a variety of sources. These include victims of human rights violations, relatives of victims and eyewitnesses, non-governmental human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, doctors and government officials. UNAMI seeks to conduct face-to-face interviews with individuals representing minority groups, religious groups, organisations working on women’s issues, internally displaced persons and others. To the extent possible, given security constraints, it also conducts field visits to relevant locations in order to assess information received on human rights violations. On matters relating to detentions and judicial procedure, UNAMI conducts its own visits to places of detention under the authority of the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), interviewing both the inmates and detaining officials on issues including due process, treatment in custody and conditions of detention. It maintains an ongoing dialogue with members of the judiciary and officials representing the Higher Judicial Council, as well as defence counsel representing the accused. UNAMI regularly publishes data received from ministries involved in law enforcement, and from the ministries of human rights in Baghdad and Erbil, on the detainee and prisoner populations as well as on sentencing by the criminal courts. It also publishes data received from representatives of the Multinational Forces (MNF). The MNF authorities also provide information on individual cases that UNAMI raises with them on behalf of detainees’ relatives.
The ongoing violence in Iraq and prevailing security conditions limit UNAMI’s ability to directly assess incidents involving attacks on civilians and others by armed groups and governmental security forces. Where received, UNAMI publishes data compiled by the Ministry of Health and its related institutions on civilian deaths. Issues of concern are raised on a regular basis with relevant government officials, and any responses received are reflected in UNAMI’s public reports. As a matter of policy, UNAMI does not disclose information given in confidence and does not indicate sources of information unless consent is granted. This includes not only victims of human rights abuses and eyewitness but also government officials who provide information on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. Many accounts relating to the human rights situation in Iraq are discounted where UNAMI is unable to verify the information through other sources or where the information is inconsistent with its own assessment of patterns of abuse. Where secondary sources are not available but circumstantial evidence built over time is highly consistent with UNAMI’s knowledge and assessment of the situation, such information is published with a qualification in cases where UNAMI believes it to be in the public interest (UNAMI Website, http://www.uniraq.org/FileLib/misc/HR%20Report%20Apr%20Jun%202007%20EN.pdf, accessed on 18 January 2008).
Human Rights Reports are published in irregular intervals.
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