Given the conservative tribal composition of Iraqi society, raising some of the rights that are stated in the UDHR may be embarrassing and rejected by the parents, such as gender equality and religious topics. Thus, the projects and initiatives to teach human rights in Iraq avoid going deep into such principles, and limit their work to the definition of the basic principles that do not oppose the prevailing religious and social values and principles.
Such an orientation is being welcomed in Iraqi society, according to Attar. He said that the workshops held by the Commission on Human Rights in Qadisiyah have reached villages and rural areas, such as al-Bair and al-Shamiya, and are widely welcomed there. He added that the lectures that were given by the Commission on Human Rights to uneducated women and girls in those rural areas were welcomed by their parents.
Yet, the scope of dissemination of human rights culture will not achieve the required objective in the foreseeable future. Human rights in Iraq continue to be violated, as international organizations, such as HRW confirmed. In the World Report 2015, HRW said human rights conditions for women and children in Iraq deteriorated.
A more comprehensive program is therefore required and needs to be promoted in all life aspects in Iraq, including in schools. This is why Attar hoped that the rest of the Iraqi provinces follow in the footsteps of Qadisiyah province and teach human rights in schools, in the hope of achieving the desired goal.
The implementation of a comprehensive project, however, requires the state institutions’ wide support to be disseminated on a large scale in the country. In the absence of such support, it will be difficult for individual initiatives to make this project a success.
(Human rights image via Shutterstock)