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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Iraq

Friday, December 12, 2014 - 12:00pm


Since January 2014, violent conflict in Iraq has intensified with the expansion of the Islamic State and resurgence of sectarian militias. All sides of the conflict have reportedly committed gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, especially the Islamic State’s systematic targeting of Iraq’s non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities. According to U.N. estimates, 20,000 civilians have been killed or injured across Iraq in 2014 and millions have been forced to flee.

Iraq has been experiencing a humanitarian crisis for at least the past four years, with a sharp escalation in 2014 due to the invasion by Islamic State forces. To date, an estimated 5.3 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and protection, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), communities hosting the displaced, and civilians still trapped in conflict-affected areas. The provision of humanitarian assistance is complicated by ongoing fighting, earlier waves of IDPs and refugees since 2011, and spillover from fighting in Syria.

Please join us as experts discuss the ongoing conflict, human rights abuses, and the humanitarian needs and challenges in Iraq. Panelists will also provide recommendations on what the United States can do to alleviate human rights abuses and human suffering, while reducing and preventing the rise of sectarian tension.

For any questions, please contact Soo Choi at 202-225-3599 or

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Panel I

  • Ms. Kelly Clements, Deputy Assistant Secretary, State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
  • Mr. Thomas Staal, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

Panel II

  • Dr. Mazin Faisal Farhan Al-Jadiry, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad (Dr. Mazin Faisal Farhan Al-Jadiry's Testimony presented by Dr. Leslie Lehmann, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School)
    Written testimony
  • Ms. Sarah Margon, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch
    Written testimony
  • Ms. Kristele Younes, Director for U.N. Humanitarian Affairs, International Rescue Committee
    Written testimony
  • Ms. Andrea Koppel, Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy, Mercy Corps.
    Written testimony



113th Congress