Published:November 6, 2019
Law No. 20 (Compensation for Victims of Military Operations) 2009 was designed to compensate Iraqis affected by terrorism. Beneficiaries are civilian victims of war or their family members in cases when the direct victim is no longer alive. Despite offering an avenue for enforcing at least some forms or reparations for victims of ISIS conflict, it has considerable flaws:
• The bill is compensation-focused, and does not envisage rehabilitation services. Nor is there any provision of ‘satisfaction’ measures, such as truth-telling or memorials or guarantees of non-repetition.
• Compensation is to be provided in case of death, kidnapping , disability, injuries, damaged property and/or disadvantage related to job or education. Therefore, the most common violations and their shattering consequences such as conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), slavery, child recruitment as well as their large-scale and systematic nature amounting to atrocity crimes, including but not limited to genocide, do not fall under Law No. 20.
• Victims need to submit a great deal of documentation and incur relatively high costs before compensation is awarded. This proved to be problematic for displaced individuals, who did not have those documents at hand, or who may have lost this evidence during the armed conflict.
• Finally, insufficient amount of financial means for compensation allocated annually, shortage of qualified staff, scarcity of compensation sub-committee offices at the local level, exclusion of certain groups of victims due to their perceived affiliation to ISIS, protracted and unclear procedures hinder effective implementation. These shortcomings taken together probably constitute an insurmountable obstacle for most of those residing in camps wanting to file a claim.