Iraqi Politicians & NGO Officials Attend Diversity Workshop in Eastern Europe

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11 Parliamentarians and representatives from leading Iraqi NGOs attended a workshop in Sofia, Bulgaria last week, organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The attendees studied models of diversity protection and anti-discrimination legislations in Eastern Europe over the four day event, which is part of UNDP support for institutional reform and good governance in Iraq.

The UNDP project manager Mr. Zeyad Al-Obaidi, said: “During this study tour, participants worked together with experts from the Balkans and UNDP to revise the current draft Law of Diversity Protection and Anti-Discrimination based on lessons learned from international experiences. One of the main outcomes is a comprehensive recommendations report with proposed alternate articles that can guide the Human Rights Committee when revisiting the draft law.”

Mr. Hassan Turan, member of the Legal Committee of the Council of Representatives (CoR), said: “There is a crucial need to adopt the Law of Diversity Protection and Anti-Discrimination to protect all Iraqi citizens and contribute to an inclusive government that protects the rights of its citizens and holds perpetrators to account. The study tour and visits to the Bulgarian institutions widened our vision as related to the current draft law in Iraq under which internal displacement and migration can be limited.”

Member of the Human Rights Committee, Mrs. Ashwaq Al-Jaf, said: “We explored new processes for diversity protection and anti-discrimination laws with context and culture very close to Iraq’s. It was useful to learn how Eastern European countries have dealt with the challenges emerging during legislation, implementation and enforcement of such laws. Knowing this will contribute to the development of respective Iraqi laws, and will speed up the process of legislating the Law of Diversity Protection and Anti-Discrimination.”

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