As part of the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI HRO) facilitated a strategy discussion in Basra on improving response to gender-based violence in the southern governorates of Iraq.
Representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Family Protection Unit, Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights and civil society from Basra, Muthanna, Thi Qar and Missan Governorates identified the need for joint advocacy opportunities: to encourage efforts to criminalize domestic violence in Iraq, formalize an effective support system for survivors and hold perpetrators accountable for crimes committed inside the home.
‘Breaking the Silence’, a short film illustrating the plight of survivors of domestic violence and the need for legislation criminalizing domestic violence, was also screened.
Participants emphasized that the adoption of the draft anti-domestic violence law by Parliament is a crucial and a long-awaited step to support survivors of domestic violence and must be part of process of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the role of civil society organizations in supporting victims of domestic violence needs to be formalized and civil society organizations must be involved in the debate about the draft anti-domestic violence law.
We can all join the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence by watching the film ‘Breaking the Silence’ and sharing the short advocacy film on social media platforms.