The Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) was established in 2004. UNAMI’s chief human rights officer also represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Iraq.
The UNAMI Human Rights Office conducts all activities in an impartial manner with the aim of assisting the Government of Iraq in promoting and protecting human rights. UN Security Council Resolution 1546 (2004) mandated UNAMI, inter alia, to “promote the protection of human rights, national reconciliation, and judicial and legal reform in order to strengthen the rule of law in Iraq”. The mandate has been annually renewed by the Security Council, at the request of the Government of Iraq. OHCHR supports the work of UNAMI by assisting in the implementation of activities and providing guidance and expert advice on specific human rights questions.
The UNAMI Human Rights Office works with the Government and civil society to support the promotion and protection of human rights of all Iraqis without discrimination. In doing so, the UNAMI Human Rights Office cooperates closely with other UN Funds, Agencies and Programmes, including UNDP, UN Women, UNHCR and UNICEF.
The UNAMI Human Rights Office, in collaboration with the Government and civil society, focuses its work on the protection of civilians from the effects of armed conflict and violence, the promotion of the rule of law, the protection of the rights of Iraqis who are detained or being tried before the courts, the rights of women and children, the rights of persons with disabilities, the rights of persons belonging to minorities, and the right to freedom of expression. Together with UN partners, the Human Rights Office has supported the creation of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq, and the development and implementation of a national action plan on human rights to implement recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review Process in 2010, including in the area of economic, social and cultural rights, such as access to healthcare, education, housing and employment.
Activities pursued by the Human Rights Office include: monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation, advocacy with the Government and other actors with responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights, training of government officials, security forces and judicial personnel, human rights education and awareness-raising, and the training of members of civil society on ways and means to undertake human rights advocacy, monitoring and reporting.
UNAMI issues regular human rights reports available at http://unami.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3174&language=en-US
The UNAMI Human Rights Office, in collaboration with OHCHR, also advises and assists the Government and civil society in their interaction with international human rights mechanisms, including the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the human rights treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review.
In addition to its presence in Baghdad, the Human Rights Office has officers working from Basra, Erbil and Kirkuk, and a small presence in Mosul.