The need for protection in Iraq
NP’s work in Iraq
In early 2017, NP began working in Iraq to protect people fleeing violence. As the situation in the country evolved, a critical need emerged to protect vulnerable IDPs in camps, people returning to contested and high-risk areas, and people located in tense regions near the Syrian and Turkish borders, in Northern Iraq.
NP’s work in Iraq is centered around protecting civilians, preventing violence and building peace side-by-side with local communities. We do this through a range of activities, including:
- providing protective presence, such as through patrols and accompaniments;
- helping communities build safe spaces – particularly for women and youth – that allow communities to address protection concerns and work on peace initiatives;
- providing mentoring in Unarmed Civilian Protection, particularly to form Community Protection Teams; and
- facilitating rumor control and awareness-raising sessions to reduce tensions and foster peaceful coexistence.
Ultimately, NP’s goal is to increase communities’ ability to protect themselves, strengthening nonviolent methods of conflict resolution and paving the way to reach durable solutions to long-standing humanitarian issues. NP’s work bolsters community-based protection mechanisms, increases self-reliance, and contributes to creating social cohesion.
The future of NP’s work in Iraq
As thousands of people remain displaced in Iraq, and with so many communities still processing the effects of war, NP’s activities continue to be central in increasing the safety and security of civilians, and in enhancing peaceful coexistence of communities in the country. NP will, therefore, keep addressing the protection concerns of IDPs, returnees, and host communities. NP will support people who have been displaced by facilitating their access to durable solutions and safe return, including to high-risk and contested areas. We will work to create a safe space for dialogue and reconciliation between communities, to build local peace capacity, and foster social cohesion in communities across northern Iraq.
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Snapshots of Peace
Reconciling a family and preventing conflict
Shuttle negotiations and violence prevention in Ba’aj District, Iraq
Protection to guarantee girls’ education
How NP’s patrols enabled safe access to education in Ba’aj, Iraq