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NHRI staff profile: Oday Almanawee, IHCHR


Each month, we’re profiling a passionate and committed individual from one of our NHRI members.

Name and position:

Oday Ibrahim Mahmood Almanawee, Director of the Reports Department, High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq.

Could you tell us a bit about your role?

My main role is Director of the Reports Department, which is the department responsible for preparing annual reports, treaty or shadow reports, and other specialised reports.

I'm also responsible for managing the office of a Commissioner, and take part in a number of committees, including the Committee of Peaceful Coexistence, the Committee on the Right to Education, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, and the Committee for Re-accreditation of the IHCHR with GANHRI (to ensure compliance with the Paris Principles).

In my role, I also follow up on recommendations and communicate with the APF as a member of the APF Communications Network.

What do you love most about your job?

I love writing reports and striving to develop the work of the IHCHR in accordance with the guidelines issued by GANHRI and the APF.

I also enjoy learning about the work of other NHRIs and benefiting from their successes and experiences and working to help victims of human rights violations and complaints.

What's the most challenging aspect of your job?

The lack of information during initial investigations about cases of violations, weak cooperation and response by the executive, legislative and judicial authorities, and high rates of complaints submitted to the IHCHR.

Why did you decide to work in human rights?

The goal of my work in the field of human rights is to leave a positive imprint on society and contribute to improving the conditions of individuals and groups. I like helping people to solve their problems and speaking out on behalf of those who cannot claim their rights.

I seek to redress the harm they feel, especially as I myself was subjected to forced displacement as a result of the attack of the Islamic State (ISIS). My family has been subjected to many violations.

I have a great passion for studying human rights and their protection mechanisms, which prompted me to undertake my doctoral studies on the role of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in public policy-making in Iraq.

The creation of NHRIs is fairly recent compared to other monitoring institutions, and they have the advantage of being able to engage directly with the international community and to participate in international human rights forums. This strengthens their ability to achieve their goals at the national level.

What is your favourite book?

The Philosophy of State by Munther Al Shawi

Date: 31 March 2021