US reparations for Iraq are long overdue

November 2013
Al Jazeera America

Commentary: Iraqis and former US soldiers join forces in fight for justice

In early October, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the principal human rights body of the Organization of American States, refused to hear a case on the subject of reparations for Iraqi civilians still suffering the aftereffects of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of their country in 2003.

The request was filed by a New York-based legal advocacy organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), on behalf of a coalition of human rights groups in both Iraq and the U.S. The complaint called for a "hearing to identify and acknowledge the devastating and long-lasting health effects suffered by Iraqis and U.S. service members." Despite the commission's rejection – ostensibly because its docket was full – the petition itself has practical applications for U.S.-Iraqi relations and other pressing areas of U.S. domestic policy. CCR plans to resubmit the request for the court's next cycle, according to Laura Raymond, the organization's advocacy program manager.

The Right to Heal initiative was formed in early 2012 as a coalition between Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq and the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq. Its goal is to join Iraqi citizens and American veterans of the Iraq invasion in campaigning for reparations for Iraqis and expanded benefits for veterans.

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Last modified 

November 1, 2013