Legal aid partner capacitated on facilitating access to justice for displaced women

Nov 29, 2016

"UNDP Consultant, Sean Lees, facilitates a discussion on access to justice for displaced women." Photo: Baraa Afif/UNDP Iraq/2016

Baghdad - Strategic programming approaches to address sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) through legal aid provision to displaced women in South and Central Iraq was the theme of a workshop held on 28-29 November 2016, to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized the workshop under its Rule of Law Programme, with funding from the Government of Japan.

Twelve participants from the legal aid partner, Dar Al-Khibra Organization (DKO) of Iraq, gathered at Al Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies in Baghdad, to discuss challenges and successes of facilitating access to the justice system for survivors of SGBV and to learn about innovative strategies applied in other countries.

UNDP’s Rule of Law Programme Manager, Ms. Chamila Hemmathagama, underscored: “For so many survivors of violence, legal aid providers are the bridge between fear and hope, between uncertainty and security. We applaud the work of all legal aid organizations fighting for women’s rights throughout Iraq.” She also reiterated UNDP’s commitment to women's access to justice and building safer and peaceful societies pursuant to UN Resolution 1325. 

Highlighting the value of partnership with UNDP, Deputy Chairman of DKO Iraq, Mr. Emad Sheikh Daoud, noted: “Since 2013, Dar Al-Khibra has been cooperating with UNDP to provide legal aid to women and marginalized and vulnerable groups, and this partnership culminated in providing legal aid to displaced women project. The sustainability of such projects is based on building human capacity and providing services directly to beneficiaries, an approach adopted by UNDP. We expect that this workshop will contribute to innovative practices amongst our lawyers.”

“The workshop enabled us to draw lessons from international experiences and achievements of other countries in the field of legal aid. We hope that UNDP continues its support to empower us to provide legal aid to displaced women after their return to their newly liberated cities,” said another participant from DKO, Ms. Rajaa Abid Ali.

In 2016, UNDP provided legal aid to approximately 4240 displaced women and girls across Iraq, including nearly 500 in partnership with DKO.


Chamila Hemmathagama, Programme Manager, Rule of Law, (m) +964 751 184 3529

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