C4JR Submission for the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture: April 2024

May 14, 2024

The Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR) is proud to share our following submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Dr. Alice Jill Edwards, for her forthcoming thematic report about crimes of sexual torture and other ill-treatment committed during armed conflict, including ensuring remedies and rehabilitation of victims and survivors.

Special Rapporteur Edwards is the current holder of this key UN mandate for monitoring compliance with absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. All victims of torture, ill-treatment or other gross human rights violations have a right to rehabilitation under international law. Since 2012, there have been significant positive developments in the normative understanding of and political support for survivors’ right to rehabilitation as a form of reparation. Internationally, the UN Committee against Torture has adopted General Comment No. 3 and the UN Human Rights Council adopted resolution 22/21 on rehabilitation. At the national level, States are increasingly adopting legislation, policy guidelines and action plans that comprise a specific right to rehabilitation as a form of reparation for survivors and their families. The pioneering Yazidi Female Survivors Law (YSL) enacted on March 1, 2021, envisages, for the first time in Iraq, rehabilitation as a form of reparation. More precisely, an official aim of the YSL is to rehabilitate survivors and integrate them into society. This is to be done by opening health and psychological rehabilitation centers where survivors shall access adequate rehabilitation services.

Download the submission, in English, here.

Executive Summary:

This submission from the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights and the Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), with specific input from members of C4JR’s Rehabilitation Working Group, provides a comprehensive overview of the situation regarding crimes of sexual torture committed during war and armed conflicts in Iraq, focusing on the atrocities perpetrated by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It highlights the devastating impact of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) on communities including the Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kakai, Christians, Shia, Sunnis, and others, and emphasizes the urgent need for justice, accountability, and rehabilitation for survivors.

Key Points include:

1. The widespread use of CRSV by ISIL as a weapon of war and genocide, causing immense suffering to thousands of women and girls.

2. Challenges in achieving justice and accountability due to deficiencies in the Iraqi legal framework and concerns about fair trials.

3. The importance of survivor-centred approaches in accountability mechanisms and the need for the active involvement of victims in the legal process and to centre their voices in rehabilitation.

4. The significance of reparative and transitional justice frameworks, such as the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law (YSL), in supporting survivors and addressing wrongdoings.

5. Efforts by organisations like the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights and other members of the Coalition for Just Reparations to provide holistic and interdisciplinary rehabilitation services for survivors, including trauma clinics and mental health support.

Overall, the submission underscores the need for comprehensive action at both national and international levels to address the legacy of sexual torture and other atrocities committed during conflicts in Iraq, ensuring justice, accountability, and support for survivors; and ongoing support for organizations and communities working on this issue. The submission is presented in the following structure:

  1. Challenges, impediments and obstacles to effective identification, documentation, investigation and prosecution of crimes of sexual torture and related ill-treatment
  2. Regulatory frameworks – civilian and military codes
  3. Victim participation and protection during investigation and prosecution
  4. Evidence collection and documentation pursuant to the Istanbul Protocol
  5. Rehabilitation

C4JR is an alliance of 34 Iraqi NGOs calling for comprehensive reparations for civilian victims of atrocity crimes perpetrated during the ISIL conflict in Iraq. C4JR uses Iraqi law and international human rights law to support the reparation claims of survivors and encourage Iraqi authorities to meet their obligation to provide reparations. The C4JR Rehabilitation Working group played a key role in the drafting and review process of this report: many thanks to members from the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), Emma Organization, Farida Global Organization, Free Yazidi Foundation (FYF), Hope Makers Organization for Women, Iraqi Educators League, Jezuit Refugee Service (JRS), Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights, Justice Organization for Minority Rights (JOMR), SEED Foundation, Sustainable Peace Foundation (SPF) and Yazda.

Related posts

C4JR online event on the ending of UNITAD’s mandate

C4JR online event on the ending of UNITAD’s mandate

Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR) online event on the ending of UNITAD’s mandate, with Yazda, IBAHRI, HRW, and Amnesty International: Thursday 23 May Organised with: Yazda, the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Amnesty International,...

Fifth C4JR YSL Newsletter 

Fifth C4JR YSL Newsletter 

The Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), with the support of IOM Iraq, is publishing regular newsletters on the Yazidi Survivors Law (YSL) in three languages. Check out the fifth newsletter now, in English, Arabic, and Kurdish...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list for the latest news and updates about Yazidi Survivors Law.

You have successfully subscribed.