[JURIST] UN envoy to Iraq Staffan de Mistura praised [press release; UN News Centre report] the country's new Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) on Monday, calling it a "milestone" for human rights in the region. The IHCHR was instituted on Sunday by the Iraqi Council of Representatives [official website, in Arabic] and is mandated by the Iraqi Constitution [text]. The new body will focus on civil, cultural, economic, political and social human rights. Staffan, the Secretary Generals Special Representative (SRSG), added that:
The Independent High Commission for Human Rights...will further on-going efforts of those already involved such as the Ministry of Human Rights, law enforcing agencies, the Council of Representatives, the Judiciary and civil society organizations.The SRSG also called on the Council of Representatives to ensure that the Commission will be responsive to the country's most vulnerable groups, including children, women and minorities. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) [official website] expressed readiness to assist the selection process of the IHCHR members and willingness to work with the Commission in the future.
In March, Amnesty International [advocacy website] called the human rights situation in Iraq "disastrous" [JURIST report]. In June, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants [advocacy website] declared Iraq to be one of the worst violators of refugee rights [JURIST report] in the world.