[Human Rights] UPR Working Group/7th session, Statement on Iraq
UPR Working Group, 7th session – Statement of the Austrian Delegation for Iraq
Austria welcomes the Minister and the delegation of Iraq and thanks for their national report, which demonstrates improvements as well as renewed concerns about the human rights situation in Iraq.
Austria welcomes the ratification of the Optional Protocols to the CRC on Children in Armed Conflict and on Sale of Children. In this context we would like to remind the Government of Iraq on their long overdue reports under the CRC and CEDAW. Women and children have been particularly affected by the overall situation in the country. They are also victims of domestic violence. Women are particularly affected by so-called “honour crimes”. We are also concerned about reports of attacks against persons because of their sexual orientation.
Several reports, i.a. by UNAMI, indicate that the state of the Iraqi courts often fail to meet minimum standards of fair trial. Judicial staff and lawyers are at constant risk of becoming targets of attacks. Access to justice is seriously impeded by lack of capacity, corruption and fear of reprisals, leading to widespread impunity.
We would like to make the following recommendations to the Government of Iraq:
- Ratify the Optional Protocols to ICCPR, ICESCR and CEDAW;
- Abolish legal provisions allowing for reduced sentences for so-called “honour crimes” and undertake an awareness-raising campaign;
- Increase efforts to improve the quality and capacity of the judicial system;
- Strengthen security for judicial staff and lawyers;
- Implement effective oversight mechanisms within the judiciary to tackle corruption and to improve the quality and speed of the judicial process;
- Take effective measures to systematically tackle impunity by improving training, including human rights training, to security and law enforcement officials;
- Immediately implement a moratorium on executions and work further towards fully abolishing the death penalty;
Allow me to conclude by re-iterating our appreciation to H.E. the minister and the delegation of Iraq for their participation in the review process.