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To support our Human Rights Advocacy Initiative (HRAI), IF implemented a small grants program to support Iraqi NGOs and promote human rights.IF will fund a total of ten projects. In may, IF worked with Iraqi NGOs to carry-out the first round of projects, which comprise four grants valued at $3,000 USD each.

The first grant was given to the Al-Dhawo Organization of Baghdad to conduct six workshops to raise awareness about women and children’s rights. T

he Anwar Humanitarian and Independent Organization of Basra was also awarded a small grant to conduct five workshops targeting students, minorities, refugees and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to raise awareness about minority and refugee rights and the role of civil society to influence positive change in the government.

The third grant was awarded to the Rased Center for Human rights in Najaf to provide educational workshops to police officers, criminal investigators on detainee’s rights.

The final grant of the first round was awarded to the Women Empowerment Center of Sulaimaniya to conduct ten one-day workshops and a series of children-led plays to promote the rights of women and children and reduce violence in the home.

The Ashtar Center for Journalistic training held its 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th workshops in the Babel and Diwaniyya provinces. The workshops included 20 participants each and trained local journalists on covering human rights issues in the press. Topics covered included: Human rights and journalists’ rights in the Iraqi Constitution, human rights and journalists’ rights in the Iraqi penal code, freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration, and press laws in Iraq.

During the month of July and August, the Mawtini organization for Youth Development broadcast its 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th radio shows on the Diwaniyya radio station. Topics discussed covered various issues including: minorities’ rights in the Iraqi constitution, awareness raising about human rights and detainees’ rights for Iraqi security forces, compulsory education for primary classes, human rights and the environment, and children’s rights. Participants included lawyers, judges, university professors, and representatives for the Diwaniyya human rights office.

During the month of August, the Yazidi Solidarity and Fraternity League held five training workshops in the Mosul province. The workshops were attended by an average of 25 participants each including police and army officers as well as members of the security forces and representatives from the directorates of emergency regiment. The workshop discussed proper practice and conduct with the detainees and prisoners and the arrested including international conventions on human rights and detainees’ rights.

September 2009

During the month of September, IF awarded three human rights organizations in Iraq small grants to bolster Iraqi human rights advocates and strengthen the culture of civil and political liberties in Iraq!

IF received 20 small grants proposals in response to a request disseminated in August. After IF reviewed the proposals, HRAI and IF Staff selected 3 to award. The winners were: The Akad Organization- Baghdad, The Humane Organization for Human Rights- Kut, and the Himam Institution for Civil Society Building, Basra. IF signed grant agreements with the awardees and provided them with basic mentoring on IF’s implementation and reporting criteria and requirements. These organizations will receive $3,000 each to implement projects related to human rights advocacy. The 3 selected organizations will advocate for 1) The right to practice one’s own religion, 2) preventing violence in schools, and 3) children’s rights. To date, IF has awarded 10 small grants as part of the HRAI project.

October 2009

IF small grants awardees -third round- started implementing their projects during the months of October. IF monitored project implementation through field visits in the provinces of Basra, Baghdad and Kut.

The Akad Organization- Baghdad- held two conferences on “Promoting the right to practice one’s own religion” on October 13 and 22. The conferences brought together between 30 and 35 participants including members of the Christian, Sa’bea, Faili Kurds and Muslim communities and discussed people’s right and freedom to practice their own religion in the Iraqi society. Discussions included interventions from various participants who voiced their concern about freedom of religion in their community. Participants pointed out to the important role of government and media in promoting tolerance and raising awareness about the virtues of ethnic diversity.
The Himam Institution for Civil Society Building- Basra- held two workshops on “Promoting Children’s rights” on October 20 and 26. The workshops were attended by about 40 participants each including the head of the Basra office of the Ministry of Human Rights, Mr. Mahdi Al-Tammimi; local officials; tribal leaders; schools and university representatives; and local and international NGOs. Discussions included the UN convention on the rights of the child, and the government’s role in complying to this convention.

The Humane Organization for Human Rights- Kut- held two conferences on “Preventing Violence in Schools” on October 19 and 28. The conferences were implemented in collaboration with the education directorate in the Kut/Wassit province and brought together about 30 participants including representatives from the Wassit education directorate, education institutions, and local NGOs. Topics covered included awareness raising children’s rights, the necessity to encourage collaboration between civil society and the education directorate in the Kut province to deal with school violence. The workshop also discussed the reasons and repercussions of violence in schools and presented a real life teachers’ accounts of school violence. Participants issued recommendations including: holding awareness raising workshops to teachers and to students; creating and activating parents associations; providing meals during school days; encouraging extracurricular activities.

November 2009

IF small grants awardees -third round- continues implementing their projects during the month of November. IF monitored project implementation through field visits in the provinces of Basra, Baghdad and Kut.

The Humane Organization for Human Rights, located in Kut, held its third conference on “Preventing Violence in Schools” on November 11. The conference was implemented in collaboration with the Education Directorate in the Kut/Wasit province and brought together about 30 participants including representatives from the Media Directorate of Wasit Education Directorate, 21 educational teaching staff, group of students’ parents, and 2 local NGOs. Topics covered included awareness raising about children’s rights, the necessity to encourage collaboration between civil society and the Education Directorate in the Kut Province to deal with school violence, and the criteria for measuring school violence under the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The workshop also discussed the reasons and repercussions of violence in schools, the reasons behind violence in schools. Participants pointed out to the repercussions of violence against students includingnegatively impacting children’s creativity and integration, and its inefficiency in improving children’s academic achievement. The workshop came to the conclusion that nurturing and democratic environments help improve students’ confidence and overall performance.

The Himam Institution for Civil Society Building, based in Basra, held its third and fourth workshops on “Promoting Children’s rights” on November 9 and 18. Both workshops were attended by about 30 participants each, including local officials; tribal leaders; and schools, human rights, and children’s rights’CSOs representatives. Discussions included a presentation of the UN convention on the rights of the child and discussed health insurance, education, progress, and life. The third workshop was held in Abu Al-Qaseeb Local District, while the fourth workshop was held in Al-Dayer District – North of Basra.

HRAI Newsletter: August 2010

HRAI Newsletter: July 2010

HRAI Newsletter: June 2010

HRAI Newsletter: May 2010

HRAI Newsletter: March 2010

HRAI Newsletter: February 2010

HRAI Newsletter: January 2010