Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Iraq, News Update

Iraqi Women’s Delegation Visits U.S. to Share Stories of Life During War

March 6, 2006

A delegation of Iraqi women arrived in New York City this weekend to begin a speaking tour during which they’ll share stories of everyday realities back home. The delegation includes:

Faiza Al-Araji, a civil engineer and blogger, whose blog can be viewed at afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com

Eman Ahmad Khamas, journalist, translator and activist. She is a member of the Women's Will organization, which focuses on defining and defending women's rights.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and Code Pink that organized the delegation of Iraqi women.

UN Has Great Concerns about Human Rights in Iraq

March 6, 2006

Associated Press reported this week that human rights abuses are a growing problem in Iraq, and that many of these violations are being carried out at the hands of insurgents.

According to the report:

“Abuses in Iraq are as bad now as they were under Saddam Hussein, John Pace, the United Nation’s recently departed human rights chief said last week.”

“Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed since the start of the war in March 2003, many of them in the relentless bombings, mortar fire and other attacks unleashed by the Sunni-driven insurgency.”

“The country is also plagued by sectarian killing, which surged after the February 22 bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in the central city of Samarra.”“Pace blamed soaring lawlessness and sectarian violence, which he said created a "chaotic situation where anybody can do anything they want to anyone".”

Click here to read the full story.

Human Trafficking in Iraq

March 7, 2006

Jim Couri, vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, today published a piece on human trafficking in Iraq for webcommentary.com. As the new Iraqi government takes shape, Kouri wrote, there are hopes that the constitution and the government policies will contain anti-human trafficking and sex slavery policies in order to avoid future exploitation of mostly women and children, although men are often forced into slave labor.

According to Kouri:

“Iraq is a country of origin for women and girls trafficked to Yemen, Syria, Jordan, and Gulf countries for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation, say State Department officials. Some Iraqi women and underage girls are reportedly trafficked from rural areas to cities within Iraq itself.”

“In 2004, Iraq investigated major crimes against women, some involving activities related to trafficking. Earlier versions of the 2004 Basic Police Course for Iraqi officers included a section on trafficking. However, this course was substituted with additional security training in order to address the ongoing insurgency and foreign terrorists.”

To view the article, click here.


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