Iraq

Protecting civilians and harm from weapons: Illustrations from Iraq (August 2020)

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WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH MINOR AND EDITED BY ANNA DE COURCY WHEELER AND RICHARD MOYES

KEY MESSAGES

  • Two years after Iraqi forces and the international coalition declared the conflict with ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) in Iraq complete, civilians living in conflict-affected areas continue to deal with harms resulting from the weapons, means and methods of warfare that were used. The wide-ranging and lasting impact of the conflict illustrates that the full protection of civilians requires recognising and acting on how harms to civilians develop over time.

  • The recent and accumulated physical legacies of conflict in Iraq – including the destruction and hazardous remnants left by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in particular – continue to have a huge impact on the health, housing, services and livelihoods of Iraqis today, including through the continued displacement of over one million people.

  • The impacts of the previous use of and current availability of weapons continue to interact with other social, political, economic and conflict dynamics to pose challenges to civilian protection in Iraq.