Crime

Iraq holds conference to counter violence and promote coexistence

Iraq

With the participation of representatives from most provinces in Iraq, the government has held a conference on the need to tackle violence both at a civic and domestic level.

With the participation of most provinces in Iraq, the Iraqi Government has organised a conference calling for a stronger commitment to non-violence in the country. The organisers of the event believe that more work needs to be done to eradicate violence as an element of Iraqi society, after a spike in violent crimes in recent years.

One organiser told reporters that the event is “a national peace conference to promote the policy of non-violence and the majority of the Iraqi provinces have participated through representatives”, before going on to explain that Iraq “needs to promote a policy of non-violence” following the tragedies faced by the country in recent years, compounded by racial and sectarian fighting during ISIS’ insurgency. For him, this event is as much about changing the perceptions of Iraq as it is about confronting the reality of violent crime in the country. 

Civil activists and local officials have long called for addressing domestic violence via the activation of what is called the Domestic Violence Act. They also called for increasing the number of seminars, organised dialogues and conferences that call for the rejection of all forms of violence.

A female event organiser told reporters that whilst past conferences have rightly focused on the scourge of sectarian violence in Iraq, this conference aims to put the spotlight on women’s rights and gender-based domestic violence. She also voiced support for the activation of the Domestic Violence Act. Her sentiments were echoed by another attendee of the conference, who called for a “revolution of awareness” accompanied by dialogue and seminars in order to spread a new culture of non-violence at all levels of society in Iraq. 

Despite increasing calls to tackle violence in Iraq both domestically and internationally, this conference has taken place against the backdrop of a reported rise in the number of violent crimes recorded in Iraqi courts in recent years.