|Iraq Foundation Newsletter|
Iraq Foundation Staff
On March 23, 2007, the Iraq Foundation is holding
its second annual fundraising dinner to benefit
Iraqi children’s charities. Because of the
generosity of many individuals, organizations, and
friends of Iraq, the Iraq Foundation was able to provide
essential equipment to five Iraqi children’s
charities in Baghdad last year, improving the lives
of over 200 orphaned and disabled children.
As part of our efforts to establish and manage a Human Rights Defenders Network in Iraq, the Iraq Foundation held a six-day training in Amman Jordan for a group of 14 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on December 12-17, 2006. Three NGOs could not participate due to the security situation in Iraq, which prevented travel. IF selected NGOs with mandates that included the protection of the rights of women, children, and religious and ethnic minorities. The NGOs represented different regions in Iraqi, including Baghdad, Wasit, Najaf, Nasriya, Anbar, Diyalaa, Salah el Din, and Kirkuk. A representative from the Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) also participated in the training that focused on developing and strengthening the monitoring, reporting, and advocacy skills and capacities of the human rights NGOs that attended the event, equipping them with international tools and methods, and connecting them together and with international and regional organizations.
Iraq Foundation held a two day workshop in Baghdad on the 20-21st of December for a group of 17 Iraqi journalists and reporters. The workshop was part of the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness on universal standards and principles of human rights and spread human rights education in Iraq. This workshop was held as part of IF's Human Rights Education Project.
In preparation for the release of the Iraq Foundation’s Iraq Democracy Watch (IDW) annual report, IF organized a conference for in the Northern City of Sulimania on December 1, 2006 to collect feedback and recommendations from a group of diverse Iraqi civil society actors and intellectuals. The group discussed and debated a working draft of the annual report that was produced by IDW and devoted to addressing “The Status of Rights and Freedoms in Iraq.” Including the members of IDW, 52 Iraqi civil society actors attended the conference. The participants included Iraqi university professors, journalists, lawyers, and activists. The IDW team will revise and edit the report after incorporate suggestions from the participants.
IF's Suhaila Hassan participated in a meeting with the Iraq’s Pledge (IP) team and the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (SCIRI) and the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), Sayed Abdulaziz Al-Hakim. During this meeting, which was held on December 28th at the headquarters for the UIA, IP presented the Iraq’s Pledge’s goals and five proposed laws. Currently, two of the five laws are under consideration in parliament. IP’s executive director, Azhar Al-Shaikhly, discussed these laws as well as strategies to finalize and present the remaining three laws to Parliament. The two laws, which are currently under parliamentary review, are Article 16, the equal opportunity law, and Article 38, the law governing freedom of expression. In addition, IF is also continuing regular visits to the Parliament, media and political monitoring, and training of Iraqi NGOs on monitoring and reporting techniques.
IF produced and broadcast 4 radio programs in November 2006 via al-Iraqiya radio, which focused on basic human rights, minority rights, disabled children’s rights, and the rights of women. IF’s first program, which was broadcast on November 5, 2006, covered the human rights situation in Iraq. On November 12, 2006, IF broadcast a program on the situation and rights of minorities in Iraq. On November 19, 2006, IF broadcast a program on the rights of the disabled children in Iraq. On November 26, 2006, IF broadcast a program on wives that have been abandoned by their spouses in Iraq.
As part of our Human Rights Education Project, the Iraq Foundation held a two day workshop on November 19-20 for employees of the Ministry of Environment at the Human Rights Resource Center in Baghdad. The workshop focused on three main themes: Human Rights Standards and Principles, Women’s and Children’s Rights, and Citizenship and Democracy. On November 19, the workshop introduced participants to basic human rights standards and principles, and international law and national frameworks, protecting human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and freedoms and rights in the Iraqi constitution. Following the presentation, participants engaged in debate on the situation of human rights in Iraq and the role of the Ministry of Human Rights in curbing human rights violations. The workshop also discussed the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. On November 20, the workshop focused on the issue of citizenship and democracy, Iraqi nationalism, and the importance of the Iraqi peoples’ participation in the process of national reconciliation.