The Netherlands Commits New Funding to UNITAD in Support of Witness Protection in Iraq
05 October 2021
Baghdad, 5 September 2021 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands renewed its support to the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) with additional funding for the support and protection of vulnerable witnesses of ISIL crimes in Iraq.
This timely contribution is critical to continue strengthening UNITAD’s survivor-centered approach to investigations, through which vulnerable witnesses are provided psychosocial guidance and support before, during and after their interviews, to reduce the risk of re-traumatization while giving their testimonies. The Netherlands is a longstanding supporter of UNITAD’s Witness Protection and Support Unit (WPSU) which ensures that victims and witnesses of ISIL’s crimes in Iraq can testify in a confidential setting in safe and emotionally reassuring environments with access to appropriate support.
Additionally, this contribution will allow UNITAD’s clinical psychologists to continue organizing capacity building trainings for national service providers working in the field of mental health on appropriate protection and specialist intervention measures to support witnesses, victims, and survivors.
Moreover, UNITAD will continue to work closely with the Iraqi authorities to extend technical assistance in the field of witness protection and psychosocial support to witnesses and survivors.
“UNITAD has played and is playing a key role in ensuring both accountability and support for the survivors of ISIL in Iraq and the Netherlands is a proud supporter of its work”, said Yoka Brandt, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York.
This support continues to be fundamental for the Investigative Team’s efforts to uphold international standards in collecting evidence of crimes committed by ISIL members in Iraq that amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to support accountability measures in national courts.