Migration of minorities from Iraq: Absence of legal protection eliminates constitutional recognition

Everyone was shocked when hearing the decision of the head of the Sabean Mandaean community in Diwaniyah province (southern Iraq) to emigrate to out of the country, but the shock of knowing the reasons for the migration was no less severe.

Khalid Naji, who is a symbol of the sect in the province and also serves as the assistant director of Community affairs in Iraq, pointed out clearly that the absence of laws that protect minorities in general and the Sabians in particular, prompted him and his family to take the decision to migrate.

“There is no legislation that protects our rights,” says Khalid Naji. “The House of Representatives has not enacted any law and has not issued any resolution to protect minorities in Iraq.”

This is why Khalid Naji believes that the migration of Iraqi minorities citizens to outside of the country, under the current conditions in Iraq, will lead to the marginalization and exclusion of minorities with the political will that does not want to protect them.

Since the writing of the Iraqi Constitution in 2005, there have been many problems caused by its articles, which were not clear in some and incomplete in others, and the same applies to the articles of the Constitution relating to the protection of the rights of minorities in Iraq.

Experts and scholars of Minority studies classify the Iraqi constitution among the best constitutions in the Arab region and the Middle East with regard to minorities, despite the existence of many articles that contradict their rights, namely, the religion of the state, and the official languages.

See the current Iraqi constitution from the official website of the Iraqi Council of Representatives: http://en.gif B9% D8% B1% D8% A7% D9% 82% D9% 8A /

The minorities do not have any privileges under the reality of Iraq and the constitution does not distinguish what the reality is and what are the aspirations of the minorities. Hence where is the problem? According to the opinion of representatives of the minorites the problem has two main points:The first is that the articles of the Constitution in support of minorities and their existence are not translated into effective laws where minority citizens themselves should be equal with the rest of the citizens. The second is that the political class do not want to acknowledge the rights of the minorities.

Haneen Qaddo, a politician from the Shabak (minority) and a member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives perceives the problem as”The constitution has not been translated into laws in this framework and even if such laws are enacted, the possibility of implementation will be difficult because the application of these laws is not possible in light of all that Iraq is going through”.

“The political class does not really believe in minority rights and the need to protect them. Politicians see minorities as a means to be used in political conflicts between parties and blocs and for political purposes as well,” Qaddo said.

The Iraqi constitution contains five articles that deal with the rights of minorities and their representation in the Iraqi parliament, but the recognition of these minorities and their rights in Iraq does not mean anything to the representatives of these minorities, which require a number of measures to ensure access to these rights.

Researcher Hamad Jassim Mohammed, whose research entitled “Minorities in Iraq between Reality and Ambition” specifies some measures to ensure the rights of the minorities as the need to allocate a special budget for the development of minority areas and end the continuing economic deterioration and granting autonomy to them in the future in these areas.

This researcher also points to the need to move away from the Islamization of minority minors, the separation of religion from politics, the enactment of civil laws and the preparation of curricula that refer to the history, heritage and religions of minorities as well as the granting of minorities a greater role in state institutions in general and others.

Language is also an important factor for minorities who see that the failure to grant the official character of their languages ​​contributes to the disappearance of their culture and paves the way for their disappearance from the civilized landscape of Iraq.

The conclusion is that the articles of the Iraqi constitution will remain for the minorities just a birth certificate needs to provide the requirements to sustain life, the most important is to legislate the laws and create the appropriate environment for implementation to ensure the provision of survival requirements for these minorities in Iraq, to ​​feel that they are Iraqi citizens and that they are no different from their counterparts in the large components of the Iraqi people .

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