A UN report released today details the severe and extensive impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict in Iraq, with at least 18,802 civilians killed and another 36,245 wounded between 1 January 2014 and 31 October 2015.
Another 3.2 million people have become internally displaced since January 2014, including more than a million children of school age.
Of the total number of casualties, at least 3,855 civilians were killed and 7,056 wounded between 1 May and 31 October last year – the period covered by the report, although the actual figures could be much higher than those documented. About half of these deaths took place in Baghdad.
The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is based largely on testimony obtained directly from the victims, survivors or witnesses of violations of international human rights or international humanitarian law, including interviews with internally displaced people.
“The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering. The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide,” the report states.
“During the reporting period, ISIL killed and abducted scores of civilians, often in a targeted manner. Victims include those perceived to be opposed to ISIL ideology and rule; persons affiliated with the Government, such as former Iraqi security forces (ISF), police officers, former public officials and electoral workers; professionals, such as doctors and lawyers; journalists; and tribal and religious leaders.