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; 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.
Make a Gift Now
Snapshots of Peace
Engaging local youth in peaceful conflict resolution
NP developed a tailored training curriculum for youth, based on different scenarios and everyday challenges faced by the youth in their communities. The participants expressed that the sessions helped them understand that violence is not only physical, how violence of all kinds can be harmful for communities and their families, and that they are capable of managing their own anger.
Advocating against eviction in Rey Al Jazeera
Mullah Jassim, one of the leaders of Rey Al Jazeera, an informal settlement of displaced communities in Iraq, was formally notified by the Mayor of an eviction notice: All 70 displaced families would have to leave their homes by February 2nd, 2022. These families wanted to return home, but simply didn't have the resources to do so. The forced eviction would leave them with nowhere to go, especially dangerous during winter.
NP immediately began to coordinate advocacy efforts to postpone the eviction. Within weeks, NP worked with partners and the community to submit an appeal.