What is the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights and how was it established?
In 2014, a group of journalists and human rights defenders established the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) to advocate for human rights in Iraq and urge authorities to uphold existing national laws and international conventions and to legislate new laws which preserve human dignity regardless of race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sect, or nationality.
The IOHR is a non-profit, Iraq-based organization with a large network of volunteers including activists, journalists, and human rights advocates in all governorates of Iraq.
Supported by this network, the IOHR works to monitor and document violations of human rights, whether they are committed by official bodies or other parties and groups.
Since its establishment, our network has expanded to include up to 70 volunteers, which has facilitated the production of annual and periodic reports that document human rights violations across Iraq.
Many international organizations and Arab and international media rely on the data and reports of the IOHR, including UNHCR, US Department of State, Reuters, CNN, Washington Times, BBC, Al Monitor, Al Arabiya, And Aljazeera among others. The IOHR Director has conducted more than 475 televised interviews on human rights issues since 2014.
To raise the voices of the oppressed and urge the Iraqi authorities to uphold and respect human rights and prevent the perpetrators of violations from escaping punishment.
• Monitor and report human rights violations across Iraq.
• To urge the Iraqi government to protect and uphold human rights, curb violations, and hold perpetrators accountable.
• Enhance the role of the Iraqi government to assume its responsibilities in protecting human rights.
• Build, train, and maintain new generations of human rights defenders and activists.
What are the sources of IOHR funding?
IOHR is non-profit, volunteer-based organization. It is run by its staff on a voluntary basis, including its founder and director, as well as members of the Board of Trustees. Our staff are not affiliated with any political parties, Armed religious groups, or any other groups that conflict with the interests of Iraq and its people, or any group that contradicts the laws of the Iraqi state.
The IOHR office space was initially paid for by staff members' individual donations in the early years. More recently, it is being supported through projects with our partners.
IOHR is independently funded. It does not receive funds from any political group, political party, or any organization which does not adhere to human rights principles. It relied exclusively in the first years from 2014 – 2017 on discretionary donations from its members and staff and receives funding for specific projects and advocacy activities in partnership with various international organizations. To preserve our independence, we do not accept any funds from any political parties, religious groups, local or international companies.
Our human rights reporting is not funded by any organization and is carried out on a voluntary basis and with strict levels of independence and fact-checking. Only the periodic reports issued from mid-2017 until mid-2018 were part of a project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). As for all other reports prior to, or after this period, they were all implemented voluntarily with no external funding.
IOHR welcomes any unconditional support and does not seek to engage in the human rights record selectively.