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UN assists Iraq in preparing for review of human rights record

UN assists Iraq in preparing for review of human rights record

Iraqi children
The United Nations has recently wrapped up a workshop aiming to help civil society organizations in Iraq monitor and report on human rights, as the country prepares to have its rights record scrutinized for the first time by the world body’s Human Rights Council.

Under the new Universal Periodic Review (UPR) system, which started last year, all 192 Member States’ rights records will be reviewed by experts every four years.

Iraq’s Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will submit human rights reports to the 47-member Human Rights Council – responsible for bolstering the promotion and protection of rights worldwide – in 2010.

The Human Rights Office of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), together with the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), held a seminar in the northern city of Erbil earlier this month to train 25 NGOs, covering all parts of the country and a range of issues, to collaborate with government institutions to meet Iraq’s rights reporting obligations.

The four-day event wrapped up with the adoption of a work plan to prepare the civil society report.

UNAMI continues to stress respect for human rights in Iraq – particularly for vulnerable and minority groups – and compliance with international human rights obligations as a fundamental precursor to healthy nationhood,” according to a press release issued in Baghdad yesterday.