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: June 13 – 20, 2024

Key Takeaways: POLITICS: Washington Targets Another Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia With Terrorism Designation; Militias Threaten To Resume Anti-U.S. Operations – On June 17, the Department of State said it designated Iraqi militia group Harakat Ansar Allah al-Awfiya (HAAA) and its leader, Haydar Muzhir Ma’lak al-Sa’idi, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The department held HAAA and other Iran-backed militias organized under the “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” responsible for multiple attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, including “the January drone attack that killed three U.S. service members at Tower 22 in Jordan.” The State Department mentions that “HAAA has also terrorized the Iraqi people,” in reference to attacks on protesters and activists. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq said the designation reaffirms Washington’s “commitment to confronting Iran’s malicious influence in Iraq” and the threat of militias loyal to Iran. On June 19, the so-called “Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee” said that it held

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