Training in Erbil - February/March 2023
From February 26th to March 1st, 2023, FEMED held a training session in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) on advocacy and political influence, which brought together 17 participants from associations working on the fight against enforced disappearances from various Iraqi regions (Erbil, Kirkuk, Mosul, Ninawa), and from Lebanon and Turkey.
This training, which had as its main objective the acquisition of tools and techniques essential to the success of an advocacy strategy, focused mainly on the knowledge necessary to distinguish the different phases of an advocacy cycle (analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation phases of advocacy initiatives, as well as on the planning of advocacy initiatives while including some of the most important skills for their successful implementation). Workshops included negotiation, message formulation, and network management.
In addition, small group work gave the training a more practical aspect, allowing for a better understanding and assimilation of the theoretical lessons learned. From then on, the participants built real advocacy strategies with the support of the trainer, his advice and his indications, which they will soon implement in Iraq or in Lebanon.
The participants showed great interest in the training and actively attended it. As in the previous training in Baghdad, a WhatsApp group was created. The beneficiaries continue to exchange their daily experiences and practices through this channel.
During this training, FEMED was able to meet with Iraqi authorities and other stakeholders in the fight against enforced disappearances in Iraq. FEMED took advantage of its visit to Iraq to meet with local authorities to discuss what could be done about enforced disappearances in the region.
First, FEMED met with representatives of the Ministry of Justice. They discussed and explained to the FEMED delegation the different laws or draft laws in place regarding enforced disappearances. The first bill mentioned was the draft law on the transposition of the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance.
During its visit to Iraq, the FEMED met with other official authorities: the Ministry of the Interior, the Independent Human Rights Commission, the Deputy Consul General of France, the Head of EU Liaison Office Erbil, the Delegation of the European Union to Iraq, etc.
Training in Bagdad - June 2022
Iraq has the largest number of victims of enforced disappearances in the region, generated by numerous conflicts and violent episodes over the past five decades. The authorities deny most disappearances committed by government security forces and recognize with less difficulty the victims of terrorism and victims before 2003.
Aware of the need to increase the knowledge of victims' family associations about their rights and the mechanisms for their protection, FEMED brought together several Lebanese and Iraqi member associations in Baghdad from 3 to 5 June 2022 to provide them with the necessary tools to document cases of enforced disappearances.
Introduced to interview techniques, the participants benefited from a real clarification of the difficulties faced to collect all the necessary data respecting the admissibility criteria included in the different forms presented by the international human rights protection mechanisms such as the Working Group against Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED).
As usual, at the end of the training in Iraq, a delegation composed of members of the federation and local associations met with the Iraqi authorities. The various discussions focused mainly on the new Iraqi law criminalizing enforced disappearance, which was to be adopted during the year 2021.
Indeed, if Iraq is a Party to the Convention, it has not yet transposed the various legal provisions contained in the treaty within its national law. After studying the draft law and considering its timidity, the FEMED made various recommendations to the actors we met.