Rule of Law Programme

Project Summary

UNDP IQ- Regional Defence Security Conference Cairo RoL- 20161212Regional Security and Defence Committee Parliamentary Conference on Security Sector Reform in Cairo, Egypt. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2016


In view of the complex political and security dynamics and underlying challenges in Iraq, UNDP has been investing in upstream conflict prevention and extending engagement to strengthen the rule of law, with a specific emphasis on security and justice. Efforts are underway in support of the Government, civil society, and communities striving to build stronger, accountable and legitimate institutions, and resilient societies. This support is being extended under UNDP’s Rule of Law Programme (RoL).

Since April 2015, UNDP has strategically partnered with the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA) to assist the Government in advancing security and justice development and reform roadmap through security sector reform (SSR). Addressed are the short, medium and long-term priorities needed to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the Iraqi security sector, and to ensure that future SSR interventions are coordinated constructively. Action also involves improving capacity and collaboration of civil society and the Parliamentary Security and Defence Committee (SDC) in democratic governance and oversight of SSR.

With over 3.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and Syrian refugees in Iraq, UNDP has been further working to improve legal assistance to the displaced, including survivors of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). This is being channeled through Legal Aid Centres also providing legal protection through legal support and documentation, such as birth certificates for children born to ISIL fighters and divorce certificates for women forced to marry ISIL fighters whose whereabouts are unknown, as well as psychological support.

What we have achieved so far

UNDP’s support has impacted security and justice through reform, and improved access to justice for displaced people, with the following results in 2016:


• Security and justice:

- National Security Strategy (NSS) developed and endorsed by the Cabinet in March 2016, serving as the basis for the Security Sector Reform Strategy (SRSS) submitted to the National Security Council (NSC) and stakeholders for review, following 23 SSR Committee working sessions.

- Reform laws for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) endorsed by the Government during August and September 2016.

- SSR Strategic Partner Framework adopted and implemented through quarterly UNDP and ONSA co-chaired meetings to improve coordination, oversight, and harmonization of activities.

- At the request of MoI, the elaboration of a Local Policing Roadmap for post-liberation Iraq initiated, andframework drafted and presented to MoI.

- Collaboration between Parliamentary Committees for Security and Defence, Human Rights, Women, Integrity, and CSOs, improved after establishing the Civil Society Working Group on SSR. A joint action plan was elaborated and implemented to enhance civilian oversight of SSR, engaging over 46 civil society representatives from Baghdad, Duhok, Sulaimaniyah, Karbala, Najaf, Basra, Qadisiya, Muthanna and Kirkuk.

- Regional cooperation on Security Sector Reform between Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia as members of the Arab Inter Parliamentary Union (AIPU), addressed at a December conference in Cairo, Egypt.

- Progress registered in the sensitive area of criminal justice. A Criminal Justice Working Group (CJWG) has been established under the auspices of the Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA) and the Chief Justice (CJ). With the first session held in November 2016, the group will meet quarterly to identify institutional level reform priorities in support of the NSS and SSRS. 

- 120 officials and civil society representatives capacitated on legislative reforms, SSR, policy development, democratic governance and oversight, parliamentary and civil society role in SSR and gender, through 40 training and working sessions.


• Access to justice for displaced people:

- 12,036 IDP and refugee cases related to SGBV and legal documentation benefited from six Legal Aid Centres in Erbil, Duhok, Sulaimaniyah, and Baghdad; 80% of those seeking assistance in 2016 were women.

- 12,356 people living in camp settings reached through 355 awareness-raising sessions.

- 109 staff (35% females) of the Independent Board of Human Rights (IBHR), Directorate for Combating Violence Against Women (DCVAW), and NGO partners in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Baghdad capacitated in five trainings on human rights, SGBV, legal aid, case tracking, reporting, documentation and investigations.

- A modern vision to improve access to security and justice is being realized with UNDP’s revised legal aid delivery methodological approach that provides services through a 'coordinated response model'.

Funding information

In 2016, UNDP spent US$4,117,166 on RoL support.




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