Practice Relating to Rule 143. Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law among the Civilian Population
According to the Report on the Practice of Iraq, IHL is taught at university in Iraq.
In 2011, the Iraqi National Human Rights Plan, adopted by the Council of Ministers, stated:
With regard to the plan of action aspects and ongoing efforts to promote the human rights culture in the country, the plan mainly focuses on the following steps … :
9. Conduct trainings on … international humanitarian laws [and] ways of its enactment in the context of respect for human rights in armed conflicts.
In 2012, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Iraq stated:
Dissemination of the Optional Protocol
15. The Government of the Republic of Iraq attaches great importance to raising public awareness of human rights and children’s rights. In the context of fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities, it promotes a culture of non-violence, respect for human rights and the protection of children through:
- Conducting training programmes, implemented by the National Institute for Human Rights in the Ministry of Human Rights, for all groups of Iraqi society, some with a focus on the rights of the child;
- Printing posters, booklets, pamphlets and advertisements to disseminate and raise awareness of the purpose of the Protocol;
- Incorporating human rights principles in general and the rights of the child in particular in school curriculums at all stages of education, throughout Iraq.
Measures taken to increase awareness of the Optional Protocol
33. The National Institute for Human Rights organizes training courses on human rights in general and on the rights of the child in particular, all of which include material relating to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Protocols thereto, in addition to information on human trafficking and anti-trafficking measures. From 2005 to date, it has held 135 training courses for a total of 3,061 participants and 19 workshops for a total of 501 participants.
34. The target groups of these courses, which were organized throughout Iraq, included government officials from the various ministries as well as teachers, schoolchildren, human rights activists and members of non-governmental organizations.
35. In 2008 and 2009, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo in Italy, in cooperation with the Ministry of Human Rights and with funding from the Italian Government (Embassy of Italy in Baghdad), organized two training sessions on international humanitarian law for personnel in the Ministry of Human Rights, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice and in other ministries. The training programme made clear reference to the criminalization of the involvement of children in armed conflict.
36. The Human Rights Department in the Ministry of Defence and the Centre for Military Values and Principles organizes training sessions on human rights and international humanitarian law on a regular basis. During the period from 2008 to 2011, they held:
- 84 training courses on international humanitarian law and human rights for training institutions and teams;
- Courses on international humanitarian law and human rights organized by the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law (see paragraph 35, above);
- Five training sessions in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross;
- In addition, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross delivered lectures at 16 other sessions, at which a wide range of conventions on international humanitarian law and human rights were distributed, in addition to informational materials.
In 2012, Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights issued a press release entitled “General Inspector of Human Rights [M]inistry inaugurates a training course on International Humanitarian Law”, which stated:
[T]he general inspector of the [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights inaugurated on Sunday, May 27 2012 the training course on … international humanitarian law, organized by the [San] Remo [Institute of International Humanitarian Law] in coordination with the Italian embassy [in] the green zone in Baghdad. …
In his speech, the general inspector conveyed the greetings of H.E the [M]inister of Human Rights … to the organizers of the course and all participants, stating the importance of this course [which] is complementary to a series of courses organized by [the San] Remo institute for the employees of the [M]inistry of [H]uman [R]ights and other ministries related to … international law. He appraised the positive outcome of these courses in terms of raising the level of efficiency of participants, adding that such courses helped to raise the awareness of participants [from the] [H]uman [R]ights [M]inistry [regarding] the concept of international humanitarian law[,] which will help to upgrade … capabilities of the ministry staff when applying what they have learned in their work.
At the end of his address, the inspector stated that he looked forward [to] continued cooperation with the institute and the Italian embassy in organizing such courses[,] deemed useful for all participants thereof.