The protection of victims of trafficking in Iraq: Review of the applicable legal regime and assessment of related practices in the field
IOM recently completed the implementation of a 24-month project entitled “Supporting availability and access to specialized services for victims of trafficking and individuals at risk through the provision of basic assistance and technical support of first responders.”
Funded by the US Government’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the purpose of the project was to assess protection needs, identify gaps and challenges, and subsequently enhance the protection response for victims of trafficking and populations at risk, in and out of camps, across Iraq.
In this framework, IOM launched a research project aimed at analyzing Iraq’s Law on Trafficking in Persons (Law No. 28 of 2012) and its implementation. The author of the report served as a Legal Analyst within the Protection and Counter-Trafficking Unit of IOM mission in Iraq from May 2019 until August 2019.
The purpose of the consultancy was to analyze the compliance of the law with international standards, in theory, and to the extent of available, in practice. The analysis will aid in understanding how effective the law is in addressing counter-trafficking needs and identify legal and operational gaps in peace time and war time. A thorough review of the Iraqi law and its interplay with other branches of national laws –notably criminal and residency law– was conducted.
The research has also aimed at assessing the extent to which protection is available to victims of trafficking and people at risk of trafficking. It is an essential precondition to the development of effective strategies to contemplate any revisions to the law, rules or regulations, relating to the provision of protection and assistance to victims of trafficking. The report also provides a basis for IOM and other counter-trafficking actors in Iraq to self-reflect and adapt current projects.