GENEVA (14 February 2020) – UN human rights expert Cecilia Jimenez-Damary will conduct her first official visit to Iraq from 15 to 23 February 2020, to assess the human rights situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.
"Iraq has had several waves of displacement over the past decades," said Jimenez-Damary, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs. "Notably, 6 million people left their homes during the 2014-2017 conflict. Latest figures indicate that 1.5 million of these remain displaced within the country, and that most of them have been in this situation for over three years.
"This visit provides an important opportunity for me to gather first-hand information on the situation of IDPs in the country and to engage with the Government and other interlocutors on IDPs' protection and assistance needs and progress towards durable solutions for them," the expert added. She will also examine the relevant legal, policy and institutional frameworks in place.
Jimenez-Damary's visit follows a previous visit undertaken by her predecessor, Chaloka Beyani, in May 2015. She will follow up on his recommendations and will look into relevant developments and the current situation of IDPs in Iraq.
The expert will visit Baghdad, Erbil and other locations hosting IDPs. She will meet senior Government officials, United Nations and other human rights, humanitarian and development partners, as well as civil society organizations and IDPs.
Jimenez-Damary will issue a public statement on her preliminary conclusions at the end of her visit.
The Special Rapporteur's full findings and recommendations will be included in a report to the Human Rights Council.
Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2016. A human rights lawyer specialized in forced displacement and migration, she has more than two decades of experience in NGO human rights advocacy.
As a Special Rapporteur, she is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
Check the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
UN Human Rights country page: Iraq
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