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Kurdistan Region’s Minister of Interior recognizes the need for police reform

In a meeting with MERI on January 12, 2015, the Minister of Interior, Karim Sinjari, recognized the pressing need for police reforms and the modernization of the system of governance in the Kurdistan Region. During the meeting, the Minister and his Ministerial Council were presented with a Quality Assurance Manual for special police units for combating domestic and gender-based violence.

The Manual puts forth a novel initiative in the Kurdistan Region, that is, the introduction of a performance and appraisal system into the day-to-day work of police officers. The objective of a Quality Assurance system is to create the right work culture amongst the police officers and encourage them to deliver high quality public services to citizens.

In this regard, Minister Sinjari reaffirmed his consent and support for the implementation of MERI’s Quality Assurance programme and reiterated that transforming the mind-set of ground-level civil servants is crucial for the implementation of top-down reform plans. The meeting was a follow-up on MERI’s first visit to the Ministry in June 2014, when Minister Sinjari gave green light for the project on preventing violence against women (PVAW).

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Despite a lot of strain on the work of the Ministry of Interior, specifically after ISIS’s penetration of Northern Iraq and the challenges arising from the consequences, the Ministry has remained committed and supportive of MERI’s efforts to bring the Preventing Violence Against Women project to a fruitful conclusion.

WHAT NEXT: Two police stations are now selected as pilots where the Quality Assurance system will be implemented. Hereinafter, this program will be gradually implemented Kurdistan-wide in all 28 police stations under the General Directorate of Combating Violence Against Women.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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