February 3, 2011


To the Government of Iraq

Concerning Women's Rights

  • Amend the penal code and all other legislation to remove any law that discriminates against women and allows mitigation on grounds of "honor" for violent crimes against women;
  • Finalize and pass a law to combat human trafficking with an emphasis on trafficking women and girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Trafficked women should not be punished under this law, and should be referred to social welfare agencies for financial assistance as well as health and social services;
  • Provide preventive and protection programs and facilities, including adequate shelters, for women at risk of violence or abuse; and
  • Ensure that widows can access government services and aid by removing burdensome documentation requirements.

Concerning Freedom of Expression

  • Suspend and then amend penal and civil code provisions and other legislation and regulations to remove or precisely define, in line with international standards of freedom of expression, any vaguely expressed content-based restrictions, and to remove excessive penalties on journalists and media outlets, including imprisonment, suspensions, excessive fines, and equipment confiscation, especially for minor infractions;
  • Investigate and prosecute assaults by security forces and others against journalists, and direct all security forces to end the use of force to intimidate, harass, arrest, rough up, or prevent journalists from doing their work; and
  • Direct government agencies to stop filing politically motivated lawsuits against journalists and their publications.

Concerning Torture

  • Properly train all police, security forces, and criminal justice officials in human rights and establish effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms;
  • Launch independent and impartial Investigations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and institute disciplinary measures or criminal prosecution, as appropriate, against officials at all levels who are responsible for the abuse of detainees;
  • Conduct prompt medical examinations of detainees who allege abuse in detention or during interrogation;
  • Publicly condemn any use of torture or other mistreatment in pretrial detention, including during interrogation with the aim of eliciting confessions;
  • Finalize ratification of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and ratify the Optional Protocol; and
  • Invite the Special Rapporteur on Torture to examine the situation in all of Iraq's detention facilities.

Concerning Marginalized Groups

  • In line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, provide protection and assistance to internally displaced persons, including shelter, food, water, sanitation, and medical services. Prioritize the needs of vulnerable groups such as minorities;
  • Develop a coherent, comprehensive national strategy on refugees and internally displaced persons to facilitate their voluntary return, local integration in places of displacement, or relocation to other places in safety and dignity. This plan should also provide a mechanism for fair resolution of property disputes involving displacement, compensation for loss of property, and assistance to relocate and reintegrate squatters evicted from places where they are living illegally, as well as assistance for returnees to reintegrate in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles and international refugee law;
  • Protect minorities at all levels of government, including regional and local administrations;
  • Initiate independent and impartial investigations of all killings, beatings, and torture against minorities;
  • Ensure access to education and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities;
  • Establish or strengthen healthcare and otherservices for persons withdisabilities, including rehabilitation and psycho-social support;
  • Facilitate access for persons with disabilities to quality mobility aids and other assistive devices, including by making them available at affordable cost; and
  • In line with the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, consult with disabled peoples' organizations and experts with disabilities in designing and implementing programs and policies to make sure they are disability-inclusive.

To the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom

  • Continue to investigate and prosecute crimes by US and UK forces, including those with command responsibility, against Iraqis;
  • Assist with legal reform in Iraq in to ensure existing laws are amended to be consistent with Iraq's obligations under international human rights standards;
  • Continue to provide financial and technical assistance to civil society organizations providing services to women and girls who have suffered sexual violence, trafficking, or forced marriage, or who fear reprisals from their families in the form of honor killings;
  • Ensure that no one at risk of torture or other ill-treatment is transferred into Iraqi custody;
  • Press the Government of Iraq to promptly investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and criminally prosecute officials who are responsible for the abuse of detainees;
  • Monitor and assist the performance of criminal justice, police, security, and counterterrorism institutions and personnel in Iraq to ensure full compliance with international human rights standards;
  • Continue to make refugee resettlement places available for refugees who are not able or willing to return to Iraq, particularly for people who are persecuted or threatened because of their actual or imputed association with the United States and other vulnerable groups; and
  • In addition to targeted funding for programs for persons with disabilities, make sure that all funded programs are accessible to persons with disabilities.