BCF Addresses the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council on Minorities’ Rights in Iraq

The BCF envoy to Europe and the ECOSOC, Awat Mustafa, attended the 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) at which he presented an account of the situation of the minorities in Iraq.

The BCF representative explained that the minority groups in Iraq are facing an unprecedented challenge which threatens their continued existence in the country despite the fact that “they have been the bedrock to the country’s history and cultural heritage for thousands of years.”

Regarding the situation of the Ezdis (Yezidis), he elaborated that “although the war against ISIS is over or at least there is no territory held by the extremist group, many Ezdi women and children remain captive and their fate is unknown.”

“Despite the central government and Kurdish authorities’ solemn efforts and their limited capacity to protect minority groups and rebuild trust between communities, the ongoing conflict and political instability continue to exacerbate inter-communal tensions and inevitably undermine the country’s diversity,” Mustafa said. However, he noted that without the international community and human rights groups, the capacity of the country will be limited and it would be hard for Iraq to maintain its rich ethnic and religious diversity, warning that the ongoing conflict and political challenges will contribute further to insecurity and vulnerability of minorities.

“Barzani Charity Foundation, therefore, urges the Human Rights Council and international community to stand with us, to pursue reconciliation through restorative justice; alongside other efforts, including reconstruction, compensation, economic development and local power-sharing, which will stabilize the society of Iraq and will give a reason for minorities to stay in the country and together they can rebuild the shattered Iraq,” the BCF envoy explained.