Governance and Human Rights

governance & human rights

What is accountability?

Family members in Najaf, Iraq, mourn the death of their loved one killed during the protests in Samawa. April 10, 2019. (Hawre Khalid)

Accountability means when someone commits crimes or violence, there is a fair and reliable justice system that stops them and makes them face appropriate consequences. It means citizens’ rights are protected without discrimination, both by law and in reality. Powerful people cannot buy or threaten their way out. 

Without accountability, groups who are willing to use violence gain power over others who have no way to protect themselves. It prevents society as a whole from advancing. For ordinary citizens, it can be a terrifying and hopeless environment.

Family members in Najaf, Iraq, mourn the death of their loved one killed during the protests in Samawa. April 10, 2019. (Hawre Khalid)

Accountability means when someone commits crimes or violence, there is a fair and reliable justice system that stops them and makes them face appropriate consequences. It means citizens’ rights are protected without discrimination, both by law and in reality. Powerful people cannot buy or threaten their way out. 

Without accountability, groups who are willing to use violence gain power over others, who have no way to protect themselves. It prevents society as a whole from advancing. For ordinary citizens, it can be a terrifying and hopeless environment.

our work

Iraqis are working courageously to establish real accountability in Iraq. Some are sacrificing their lives. EPIC is helping by conducting research that gives citizens a foundation of facts and evidence to push for change. 

  • We are hosting advocacy trainings for activists in the Ninewa Plains from July to Sept. to help communities navigate local political systems. 
  • We just started a new research project to survey and analyze the views among young Iraq’s about secularism and religion in politics.
  • Don’t miss our ground-breaking Tishreen report about Iraq’s popular movement for reform. Learn about the Tishreen movement.

governance & human rights

advocacy training

The Ninewa Plains is home to a diverse mixture of social, national, religious and sectarian communities, including Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Arabs, Shabaks, Kaka’i Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites.

This diversity has been a factor in conflicting interests political and armed groups in the region. Because of its location, resources, and diversity, the region is also exposed to power struggles between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government, as well as interventions by external actors.

The Ninewa Plains is home to a diverse mixture of social, national, religious and sectarian communities, including Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Arabs, Shabaks, Kaka’i Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites.

This diversity has been a factor in conflicting interests political and armed groups in the region. Because of its location, resources, and diversity, the region is also exposed to power struggles between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government, as well as interventions by external actors.

As a result, citizens in the Ninewa Plains suffer from human rights violations and restricted political representation. They also face economic difficulties from war, underdevelopment, and reduced agriculture because of severe droughts.

Our project is helping citizens analyze the problems they face, develop policy papers to propose solutions, and implement conflict-sensitive advocacy campaigns to advocate for their needs. 

self-determination

iraqis are demanding better governance. what kind of governance do they want?

In partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Dijlah Consulting Engineers, EPIC published the results of a new nation-wide survey of over 1,062 young Iraqi voters (ages 18-40) in November, 2022 about their attitudes toward a secular state and the role of religion and religious leaders in state institutions.

The surprising new survey sheds light on the direction Iraqis are headed, and reveals some of the opportunities and obstacles on the road ahead. 

iraqis are demanding better governance. what kind of governance do they want?

new national survey results - nov. 2022

In partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Dijlah Consulting Engineers, EPIC published the results of a new nation-wide survey of over 1,062 young Iraqi voters (ages 18-40) in November, 2022 about their attitudes toward a secular state and the role of religion and religious leaders in state institutions.

The surprising new survey sheds light on the direction Iraqis are headed, and reveals some of the opportunities and obstacles on the road ahead. 

read the tishreen report

The report presents a year of research that includes focus groups with Tishreen and Kurdish activists, a national public opinion survey, social media analysis, and dozens of in-depth interviews.

Download

The Long Game: Iraq’s Tishreen Movement and the Struggle for Reform

Students of Baghdad universities march to reject the nomination of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi for the premiership, and condemn the occupation of Tahrir Square by Sadr’s “blue hats.” Near the Higher Education Ministry building in Baghdad. January 26, 2020. (Azhar al-Rubaie)

Electoral trends

Download the results of our 2021 national voter survey (it’s free). The report includes responses from 1,068 Iraqi voters ahead of the October 2021 national elections. The survey predicted several trends that major media outlets missed, such as parliamentary seats gained by Tishreen-aligned candidates.

latest news from iraq

ISHM: September 21 – 28, 2023

Key Takeaways: Court Ends The Term Of Kurdistan’s Provincial Councils; Bafel Talabani Reelected As PUK Leader; Ruling Coalition Affirms Respect For Kuwait’s Sovereignty – On September 24, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling that ended the term of the provincial councils in the Kurdistan region. The Court said it determined that a 2019 amendment to the provincial councils’ law that extended their term after its expiration in 2018 was unconstitutional. The chairman of Erbil’s provincial council said the councils were unsure how to proceed, adding that their “legal committee will convene later to decide on what to do” to address what he described as a “legal gap.” On September 27, party members attending the PUK’s fifth conference unanimously reelected Bafel Talabani as the PUK’s sole leader. The party will reduce the size of its Leadership Council from 121 to 51 members and establish a new Support Council, which will be under

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