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Wanted: Good Governance—Protection of minorities and human rights in northern Iraq

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Release date: 2017-04

Dealing with the aftermath of the current situation in northern Iraq requires a mid-and a long-term strategy. The author of BICC Policy Brief 2 \ 2017 “Wanted: Good Governance—Protection of minorities and human rights in northern Iraq”, Markus Rudolf, stresses that both have to recognize limitations that are due to the cyclical re-occurence of conflict and that mirror specific historical and socio-political circumstances. The researcher in particular recommends:

\ Create inclusive economic incentives

Camps can only be a strictly short-term solution. In the mid-term, cash-for-rent schemes under the roof of an international organization such as the United Nations are necessary. Add rent subsidies from the beginning and combine vocational training, higher education and cash-for-work schemes in parallel to create inclusive economic incentives in the long run.

\ Promote small- and medium-sized enterprises with a conflict-sensitive approach

Connect profound conflict and market analyses to (re-)build sustainable livelihood activities and markets. Rather than returning to an inefficient economic system, small- and medium-sized enterprises ought to be promoted.

\ Apply a needs-based community approach that addresses IDPs, refugees and hosts alike

Foster local integration and reintegration policies of regional governments by creating the necessary additional infrastructure (housing/education/health) in destination communities as a compensation for the solidarity of hosting populations rather than increasing social tensions by targeting specific groups—such as vulnerable persons.

\ Link the protection of human rights with the delivery of assistance

Reward minority/human rights guarantees, (re-)integration projects and good government practice by making them a prerequisite for assistance.

\ Foster reconciliation activities between host communities and the displaced

Frame all activities with inter-community trust-building activities intended to foster reconciliation. Infrastructure projects should create spaces that connect hosts and displaced persons while respecting traditional structures of ethno-religious co-existence amongst different communities.

\ Make psychosocial support mandatory

Traumata are prevalent and have to be addressed in all projects by providing respective psychosocial support.