Denmark Supports UNITAD Investigating Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes and Crimes Against Children

Baghdad, 11 December 2020 – Denmark has signed an agreement to provide financial support to the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD).

The support, which amounts to DKK 6 Million (pprox.. USD 900.000), is allocated to investigations carried out by UNITAD’s Gender–Based Crimes and Children Unit and is co-managed by UNITAD’s Information Systems Unit (ISU). ISU’s work is vital in the collection, storage, and processing of evidentiary material related to gender-based crimes committed by ISIL, and crimes against children. With the help of the Danish contribution, both units will be able to employ technological solutions to investigations across three thematic areas: crimes affecting children; sexual slavery; and crimes against the LGBTQI community. The overall aim is to enhance the collection, storage, and processing of evidentiary materials pertaining to criminal investigations of crimes ISIL committed in Iraq.

In connection with the support, the Danish Minister for Defence, Trine Bramsen, stated “Women and children are among those, who suffered the worst during ISIL’s reign of terror. By holding ISIL accountable for their heinous crimes, UNITAD supports the Iraqi efforts to ensure the enduring defeat of the terrorist organization. Denmark is proud to be contributing to this effort.”

Women from minority groups in Iraq were specifically targeted for sexual and gender-based crimes by ISIL, which may fall within the spectrum of international crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. This includes rape, forced marriage, sexual enslavement, abduction, human trafficking, torture, and the violent separation of women, children, and men.

Pursuant to UNITAD’s mandate, the Team will utilize the funding to ensure its investigations are conducted in accordance with the highest international standards for documenting and preserving evidence.

Denmark is also providing financial support to UNITAD aimed at strengthening the capacity of Iraqi courts, the judicial system and forensic capacity.