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Protecting the rights of minorities in Iraq

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For minorities to be able to enjoy equal rights and participate in decision-making, an important place to start is providing education in their mother toungue. Inclusion through education was the topic of a workshop held in Erbil by NPA and partners.

The humanitarian crisis and instability in Iraq have disproportionately affected Iraqs most vulnerable people, in particular subjecting minorities more than other ethnic and religious groups in the country. Minorities have been exposed to several influxes of displacement and were targeted especially after the collapse of Saddam regime in 2003.

The mass majority of minorities have left their homes, they have been either displaced to safe zones within the country or decided to leave the country and immigrate.

On April 8th-9th, 2019, a two-day workshop entitled, “Inclusive education and rights of linguistic minorities” took place at the Erbil International hotel in Erbil, Iraq. The workshop was coordinated by the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies (HL-senteret) – in cooperation with Norweigan Peoples Aid (NPA) and our partner organisation Alliance of Iraqi Minorities (AIM).

The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a variety of Civil Society organizations, international scholars, local experts, representatives of linguistic minorities, and from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of education to learn about and identify opportunities for supporting the minorities on that issue.

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Panel from Left to right: Hoger Chato, AIM Executive Manager, Kawa Omer Hamd, Director of Curriculum in the Ministry of Education KRG, Fernand de Varennes, UN special rapporteur on Minority Issues, and Hussam Abdulla, Chairman of the Board AIM. Photograph: Sara Hamdy/NPA