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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Feature Articles
KHRP Takes Part in Water and Sustainability Expo

ImageKHRP was invited by the New Water Culture Foundation and Foro Mundial in July to present the case of mass displacement caused by the Ilisu Dam project in south-east Turkey at the Zaragoza Expo 2008, which had the theme ‘Water and Sustainability’.

On 3 and 4 July, Development and Outreach Officer Anna Irvin took part in El Faro civil society pavilion at the expo, in which the New Water Culture Foundation and other organisations working on issues relating to water, sustainability and human rights held an exhibition based on 45 case studies illustrating destructive water policies around the world.

KHRP Executive Director and Chair Launch their New Book - The European Union and Turkish Accession


Following a successful preview held on 15 April at the Greater London Authority, KHRP is happy to announce today’s release by Pluto Press of a new book by KHRP’s Executive Director and Chair, Kerim Yildiz and Mark Muller QC.

The EU accession process will shape Turkey’s future and, in particular, its potential to become a pluralistic, democratic state that respects international human rights. In this timely survey, Kerim Yildiz and Mark Muller explain and critically examine the process of accession focusing on both human rights obligations and their implementation in Turkey.  

KHRP holds CEDAW Training and Strategy Meeting in Diyarbakir

KHRP co-hosted a training and strategy meeting with SELİS Women's Consultation Centre in Diyarbakır at Bağlar Municipality Conference Center on 23 and 24 February 2008. The training was attended by 20 women from organisations dealing with women's rights throughout the region. KHRP conducted human rights training seminars in the region in 2005 and 2006 focussing on advocacy and women’s rights. It was felt that this previous training had instilled a good basic knowledge of the Convention and established its relevance at the grassroots level. However there was a need for further, more detailed training, specifically on how to use the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Turkey has failed to submit a report outlining its implementation of the obligations contained in CEDAW in January 2007 - this implementation is due for review by the CEDAW committee in 2009.

Participants at the training session
In preparation for this review process the training, led by Smita Shah, a barrister from the United Kingdom and Catriona Vine, KHRP Legal Director, provided a refresher for the participants on the human rights principles enshrined in the Convention.  The training was cut short as a number of participants received the sad news that the body of a young women, shot to death by her husband, and been left at the local hospital. The training session was ended as the participants were anxious to determine the circumstances surrounding her death.


KHRP Gives Training on Women’s Rights and International Mechanisms

KHRP Legal and Research Interns Marina Themistocleous and Amy Pepper visited Leicester on 17 January 2008 to participate in a training seminar entitled Global Issues-Local Voices: How Women’s Organisations Use International Instruments. The session was organised by the Fatima Women’s Network, and hosted by Zarin Hainsworth from Serene Communications. 

Ms Themistocleous addressing the seminar

The workshops consisted of information and skills based groups, including a talk about International Conventions ands Agencies given by Zarin Hainsworth, a session on UN Special Rapporteurs, taken by Shila Behjat from the Baha’i Office for the Advancement of Women UK, and also a session on How to Link International Law with UK Law and Policy – Lobbying Sills, given by Dan Wheatley from the Baha’i Office for External Affairs.

Ms Themistocleous and Ms Pepper held one of the four workshops on How to Use International Mechanisms. This consisted of a talk on how KHRP as an organisation has utilised international instruments, and an interactive session, where the participants undertook writing letters to a UN Special Rapporteur with regard to a factual scenario. The workshops were well received by those who attended, which included representatives from Faith in People with HIV, the Race Equality Centre and the Women’s National Commission.

KHRP Conducts Fact-finding Mission in Border Regions

Kerim Yildiz and Johanna Nykanen in Sersenk district, Kurdistan, Iraq. Note farmland in background, scorched by Turkish bombardment.

At the end of November, KHRP sent a fact-finding mission to Kurdistan, Iraq to conduct research on the recent human rights developments in the region and to follow up on the findings from the KHRP mission carried out in January 2007. The mission consisted of KHRP’s Executive Director Kerim Yildiz, Legal Officer Catriona Vine, Research Intern Johanna Nykänen, and Tanyel Taysi, who is currently lecturing at the University of Kurdistan-Hewler.

During the 6-day trip, of which one day was committed to NGO training in Sulemanya, the mission delegates travelled extensively around the Kurdistan region meeting with a large number of organizations and individuals. Among them were representatives of the two ruling parties, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), intellectuals, lawyers and human rights activists.

The mission also met with villagers of the Sersenk district in the border regions who have suffered bombardment by both Turkey and Iran during the past months’ tensions. KHRP is extremely concerned about Turkey and Iran’s increasingly aggressive troop build-up on the frontier with Kurdistan, Iraq, particularly following October’s motion in the Turkish parliament authorising cross-border operations. The recent bombardments on civilian-inhabited areas have caused serious disruption for local people, including destruction of property, livestock, arable land and woodland. The psychological effects of such bombardments, particularly on children, are enduring and extremely worrying.


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