MERI recommends Councils for Ethnic and Religious Minorities to protect the rights of minorities in the Constitution and their partnership in the system of governance.
In a special report submitted to the Constitution Committee on (Monday, August 10, 2015), The Middle East Research Institute calls for the protection and enshrining of the cultural, educational, linguistic and religious rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the Kurdistan Region’s Constitution and reiterating their equal partnership and participation in the system of governance. MERI believes, this will further strengthen the social bonds among Kurdistan Region mosaic communities towards building a stable country under the umbrella of a civil and democratic constitution for all.
In the report, MERI recommends the establishment of two councils:
- Council for Ethnic Minorities to represent Turkmen, Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Armenians
- Council for Religious Minorities to represent Yezidis, Christians, Kaka’is, Zoroastrians, Sabean-Mandaeans and Baha’is
The purpose of the two councils is to officially and genuinely represent their communities in the Parliament and the governing institutions with active participation in the legislation, decision-making and implementation and follow up process. The two councils submit consultations, recommendations and suitable projects related to the issues and problems of the ethnic and religious minorities to the Parliament and Kurdistan Regional Government. They are to be partners in drafting legislations, strategies and long-term planning and to follow up the implementation process in cooperation with government and non-government institutions. It is also the responsibility of the two councils to submit special report(s) about the situation of minorities to the Parliament, Government and the public in every three months.