During the summer months of 2018 Geneva Call organized three workshops in Iraq around the rules for the protection of displaced persons and prohibition of forced displacement in Baghdad, Anbar and Kirkuk. These workshops featured a new training tool on displacement, developed in-house by Geneva Call.
In Baghdad the training sessions were delivered to senior leaders of the PMF. The participants were very interested in learning how they could continue to support internally displaced persons (IDPs), particularly in the conflict with the Islamic State, and were keen to share stories from their own experiences with displaced civilians. They suggested that future workshops should be organised for their own fighters as well as tribal and community leaders.
A workshop for tribal leaders was carried out in Anbar. Given the large number of IDPs in this region, as a result of the conflict with the Islamic State, the tribal leaders found the training useful, as it provided them with ideas on how they could support IDPs and returnees to their communities, who often faced problems in their interactions with armed groups.
In Kirkuk the participants were mainly representatives of varied local and international humanitarian organisations in the region that provide support to IDPs. The staff of these organisations had expressed a need to learn more about the legal framework around IDPs and their rights, to assist them in their operations. An additional, more general training session on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), was also provided for the national staff of international organisations in Kirkuk.
Finally, in addition to organizing these workshops on displacement and IHL Geneva Call also supported the launch, in collaboration with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, of the very first written code of conduct for the Peshmerga forces. This code of conduct was jointly developed with the support and guidance of Geneva Call. One hundred thousand copies of the new code were printed and distributed to the Ministry and at the launch events, one in Erbil attended by Director General Alain Délétroz and another one in Sulemania for the PUK forces.