Reforming Legal Responses to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region

Conflict Research Small Grants Programme

Principal Investigator: Güley Bor
Duration: October 2018 – June 2019
Supported by: UK Department for International Development (DfID)

An Iraqi woman from Mosul carries her son at the Garmava transit camp, located near a checkpoint on the road between Mosul and Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: UNHCR/S. Baldwin

Conflict-related sexual violence has been widespread in Iraq. The most recent example was the Islamic State conflict, where thousands of women were subjected to sexual slavery. Domestic laws remain insufficient to address the problems faced by women who have been affected by conflict-related sexual violence.

This project analysed the extent to which existing domestic laws and practices surrounding conflict-related sexual violence response are being implemented and suggested how these laws should be reformed to provide better response to female survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. It further sought to examine the needs of survivors to provide a framework of administrative reparations which protect the survivors’ interests. The project informed policy discussions in this area by providing an advocacy tool for Iraqi and Kurdish politicians, NGOs, and international development agencies and initiatives, including the UK Department for International Development and the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.

This project formed part of the Conflict Research Programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development to provide research and policy advice on how the risk and impact of violent conflict might be more effectively reduced through development and governance interventions.

Project Outputs

Research Team


Güley Bor | Principal Investigator 

Güley is an international lawyer and researcher with a focus on gender in Iraq and Turkey.



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