14 February 2012: The International Commission Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Erbil, Iraq, held a conference on Iraqi compensation laws entitled “For a Life worth Living” on 5 February 2012 in Erbil, Iraq.
The conference brought together representatives of the government in Baghdad and their counterparts in the Kurdistan Regional Government to discuss and improve national legislation on reparations in Iraq. High ranking representatives from the Iraqi Parliament, the Martyrs Foundation and the Council of Ministers attended the conference. The event also brought together representatives of civil society organizations tasked with protecting the rights of survivors and strengthening their voices. The conference aimed to increase cooperation between the federal agencies in Iraq dealing with the missing persons issue and to reach agreements on national legislation on missing persons nationwide.
Mr. Cristian Correa, an internationally renowned expert on reparation programs from the International Center for Transitional Justice, provided a presentation on legislation related to reparation for survivors of mass atrocities and gave the participants an overview of the scope of possibilities, different national approaches and solutions for this issue in other countries.
“Working towards ‘A life Worth Living’ for survivors of mass atrocities of the former regimes in Iraq and addressing their needs in a way which adheres to international standards is a national issue beyond political and ethic interests and requires strong cooperation of all agencies in the country dealing with missing persons and survivors”, said ICMP’s Coordinator of the Civil Society Initiative Program Sinje Stoyke. “This conference clearly expresses the strong commitment of all parties involved to improve the existing legislation for the sake of improving the lives of the survivors in Iraq.”
ICMP has been cooperating with Iraqi authorities, namely with the Ministry of Human Rights, the Ministry of Health, the Martyrs Foundation, the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs and the Kurdish Regional Government’s Ministry of Health since 2008.
As part of its mandate, ICMP seeks to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating and identifying persons missing as a result of armed conflicts, other hostilities or violations of human rights and to assist them in doing so.
ICMP contributes to rule of law activities and supports the development of networks of civil society organizations which advocate for truth, justice, and the rights of family members of missing persons.