Civil Peace Service: Dealing with the past and peacebuilding in Northern Iraq

Project description

TitleDealing with the past and peacebuilding in Northern Iraq
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2017 bis 2025



Massive violence has led to collective trauma and mistrust among all population groups in Iraq. The terrorist group ISIS has murdered thousands of members of religious minority groups. Yazidi women were enslaved by ISIS and over three million people had to flee. Even after the defeat of ISIS, most displaced people are too afraid to return home. Survivors and families of missing persons are still seeking justice for crimes committed against them.


The situation of survivors and victims of crimes committed by ISIS in Northern Iraq and their peaceful coexistence is improving thanks to legal advice and mental health support provided by civil society organisations and governmental institutions.



The Civil Peace Service strengthens governmental and non-governmental organisations in the fields of transitional justice, mental health, and psychosocial support as well as in peacebuilding and non-violent conflict transformation. CPS experts are seconded to these partner organisations that attend to members of minorities and specifically Yazidis who were subjected to ISIS crimes. They support their efforts through training measures, technical advice, and networking with other national and international actors. The Commission for Investigation and Gathering Evidence conducts interviews and collects data to create legal cases for crimes committed. A network of Iraqi NGOs advocates for accountability and the right to reparation. At the University of Duhok, a master’s course trains psychotherapists and traumatologists to treat survivors of different forms of violence, including sexual violence. Groups of entrepreneurs and tour guides are trained on how tourism can be used to promote diversity and enhance participation of young people and women in decision-making processes.


Last update: August 2022