Open Debates #4

Typography

Applications and Limitations of the Legal and Civil Rights of Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
August 30, 2017, 09.00 – 16.30
Venue: Rotana Hotel, Gulan Street, Erbil

Organizers: Open Think Tank and Konrad Adenauer Foundation

Open Think Tank in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Foundation are organizing a one day event with the title: “Applications and Limitations of the Legal and Civil Rights of Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq”. 

The event will contribute to the ongoing discussion regarding the applications and limitations of the legal and civil rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The scope is to determine to what extent the representatives of ethnic and religious minorities living in the KRI and the disputed areas agree regarding the current situation of the legal protection of their rights and the possible perspective and changes in the near and far future.

Intended Audience:

Legislators, decision makers and community leaders from ethnic and religious minority groups in the KRI, along with local and international policy makers, experts, academics, media and civil society representatives will take part in the discussion.

Rationale:

Along with Kurds, the KRI is the homeland to Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen, Armenians and Arabs, together with Sunni-Shia divisions of the Muslims and other ancient religions, such as Christians, Yeazidi, Kakaís, Shabaks, and Zoroastrians. The institutional arrangements of KRI give de facto rights to its minorities, but to what extent are these rights respected and applied under the current legal framework of the KRI? What is the current situation and what is the outlook for the future of ethnic and religious minorities?

The issue of minority rights becomes even more challenging when considering the disputed areas and the issues that arise out of the ambiguous situation in that areas. To what extent are the legal and civil rights of the populations and the religious and ethnic minorities living in these disputed areas respected and taken into consideration in the decision-making process? There is a need for continuous dialogue in dealing with ethnic and religious issues, especially in the context of continuous social and political instability in the region.

**EVENT AGENDA**

09:00 – 09:30 Arrival and Registration

09:30 – 09:40 Opening Session Welcoming words from Angela Movileanu/Open Think Tank

and Barbara Sabitzer/ Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Syria-Iraq Office

09:40 – 10:00 Keynote Speech

PANEL 1: Ethnic and Religious Minority Parliamentary Representatives in the KRI

Chair: Hoshyar Malo, KHRW

  • What are the main challenges in the application of legal and civil rights of the ethnic and religious minority that you represent?
  • What are the main challenges that you face while proposing legislations related to ethnic and religious minorities?
  • What law amendments can be established to improve the application of legal and civil rights of minorities?

10:00 – 10:15 Lina Azriya, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Assyrian Movement

10:15 – 10:30 Mohammed Sa’daddin, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Turkmen List

10:30 – 10:45 Shamo Shekho Namo, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Yezidi

10:45 – 11:00 Yerwant Amenian, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Armenian

11:00 – 11:30 Discussion

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break

 

PANEL 2: Ethnic and Religious Minority Decision-Makers in the KRI

Chair: TBA

  • What is the place for ethnic and religious minorities in the decision-making process in the KRI?
  • What are the challenges related to ethnic and religious minorities during the decision-making process?
  • What can be changed and improved in the application of the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in decision-making process?

11:45 – 12:00 Mariwan Naqshabandi, DG, Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs

12:00 – 12:15 Nazar Hanna, DG of Assyrian Language

12:15 – 12:30 Khalid Alber, DG of Christian Affairs

12:30 – 12:45 Kheiri Bozani, DG of Yezidi Affairs

12:45 – 13:30 Discussion

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch

 

PANEL 3: Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Disputed Areas

Chair: Abdulhakeem Khosro, IRDK

  • What is the place for ethnic and religious minorities in the disputed areas?
  • What are the challenges related to ethnic and religious minorities during the legislative and decision-making process in the disputed areas?
  • What can be changed and improved in the application of the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the disputed areas?

14:30 – 14:45 Viyan Dakhil, Iraq MP from Sinjar

14:45 – 15:00 Vala Fareed, Member of Kurdistan Parliament

15:00 – 15:15 Mohammed Ehsan, Former KRI Minister of Human Rights

15:15 – 15:30 Najmaddin Karim, Governor of Kirkuk

15:30 – 15:45 William Warda, President of AIM-Alliance of Iraqi Minorities 

15:45 – 16:30 Discussion

16:30 – 16:45 Wrap Up, Sardar Mohammed, Global Education