Governance and Human Rights

governance & human rights

What is impunity?

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

Impunity means someone can commit crimes or violence without being held accountable. It becomes widespread when many people (like leaders, judges, citizens) don’t follow the law, either because it benefits them, or they feel they have no choice. 

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)

Impunity means someone can commit crimes or violence without being held accountable. It becomes widespread when many people (like leaders, judges, citizens) don’t follow the law, either because it benefits them, or they feel they have no choice. 

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 change this situation, and EPIC is supporting them. We conduct 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. 

Join our email list to get updates on this initiative. 

self-determination

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

new national survey

In partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Dijlah Consulting Engineers, EPIC will conduct a new nation-wide survey of over 1,000 Iraqi citizens from all 18 provinces in August and September. It will ask young Iraqis (age 18 to 40) about their attitudes toward a secular state, which is a political system that is not under the authority of religious leaders. 

The new survey will shed light on the direction Iraqis are headed, and reveal some of the opportunities and obstacles on the road ahead. 

Subscribe to EPIC’s email newsletter to get updates. 

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

new national survey

In partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Dijlah Consulting Engineers, EPIC will conduct a new nation-wide survey of over 1,000 Iraqi citizens from all 18 provinces in August and September. It will ask young Iraqis (age 18 to 40) about their attitudes toward a secular state, which is a political system that is not under the authority of religious leaders. 

The new survey will shed light on the direction Iraqis are headed, and reveal some of the opportunities and obstacles on the road ahead. 

Subscribe to EPIC’s email newsletter to get updates. 

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: JULY 28 – AUGUST 4, 2022

Key Takeaways: Sadr Demands Early Elections, Rejects Calls For Dialogue As Followers Occupy Parliament; Counter-Protests By Rivals Raise Fear Of Violence – On August 3, Muqtada al-Sadr called for the dissolution of Parliament and early elections, but said he hasn’t decided whether he would participate in those. Sadr also asked his followers who stormed the Parliament building on July 30 for the second time in a week to remain there and continue their sit-in. Sadr said dialogue with his rivals was useless, and in the past “brought only corruption and destruction.” Hadi al-Amiri said that he supports the proposal for early elections but said it requires “comprehensive national dialogue to set the dates, mechanisms and requirements.” Earlier, Sadr described the occupation of Parliament as a “great opportunity to radically change the political system.” The Coordination Framework said Sadr’s actions constitute “a call for a coup.” The Framework organized counter-protests “in

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