Improvement of Rights for Internally Displaced Persons
Tetra Tech is supporting Iraqi civil society organizations to improve advocacy and delivery of legal services to the millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq, emphasizing vulnerable women, children, and persons with disabilities.
Years of conflict have left approximately 3.2 million IDPs and returnees in Iraq unable to access critical legal and governmental services, often due to various legal impediments resulting from a lack of official identity documentation. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor selected Tetra Tech to implement the two-year Advocate and Protect the Rights of IDPs Project. The project aims to provide legal services to IDP families and conduct advocacy work directed at realizing their basic human rights and streamlining and ensuring access to services and benefits. The program leverages the trust and relationships Tetra Tech and its local team and institutional partners established with Iraqi counterparts over the past six years to provide support in the seven Iraqi provinces with the highest concentration of IDPs.
Over the course of the project, more than 13,000 IDPs and returnees received free legal aid services through project-supported sub-grantees, and more than 1,200 IDPs and returnees participated in legal awareness workshops. The team completed project outreach and advocacy, securing an allocation of one billion Iraqi Dinars from the Iraqi government to provide services for 1,170 Yazidi women survivors, including internally displaced women.
To further increase the project’s reach to vulnerable IDP clients, Tetra Tech deployed 16 mobile legal assistance teams and offices and educated IDPs on their rights through workshops, brochures, TV ads, and social media. As part of the project’s effort to support civil society organizations, Tetra Tech provided mentoring and support to the Iraq Legal Clinic Network (LCN) in developing a referral system that connected IDPs with relevant legal assistance to access government benefits and services.
During our 5 years [of] experience with [Tetra Tech], Iraqi staff found [Tetra Tech] a unique company in that their staff is not only running projects in a professional manner around the world but also developing the national staff skills and transitioning leadership to that national staff.Lubna Suhail, Chief of Party
Tetra Tech drew on the growing capacity and commitment of Iraq’s civil society sector to provide and advocate for services needed by Iraqi IDPs. The program served as an information hub, sharing and coordinating among civil society organizations working with IDPs in each of the project’s target provinces. The team also provided technical assistance to build the institutional capacity of civil society organizations and the LCN. Tetra Tech supports the LCN to lead implementation of project activities to enable the network to act as an effective umbrella organization for advocacy and services on behalf of IDPs and other vulnerable populations throughout the country.
Tetra Tech also provided free legal services; improved coordination between IDP communities and critical government agencies by convening intra-agency working groups that included civil society participation; advocated for improvements in the protection of IDP rights with local governments and the courts; and carried out public outreach and media campaigns to increase awareness of available services and benefits.