Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018, 16:17 GMT

Build peace not walls!

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 22 April 2007
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Build peace not walls!, 22 April 2007, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


FIDH firmly condemns the erection of a three-mile-long concrete wall separating Sunnis from Shiites in the Adhamiya district situated, northern Baghdad.

Sidiki Kaba, FIDH President declared that "while FIDH 141 member organisations from around the world are discussing the issue of migrations and walls erected as a border enforcement strategy – such as the United States' wall along the border with Mexico – we are appalled at the United States' announcement that they are currently building a wall inside Baghdad, further isolating the Iraqi civil population. FIDH considers that no wall can achieve peace and no security objectives can justify the segregation of population." The FIDH 36th World Congress is currently taking place in Lisbon, Portugal.

Furthermore, FIDH is concerned by the fact that this wall officially seeks, in the name of security, to divide citizens of a same country essentially justified on sectarian considerations. By further stigmatising communities in conflict, the US administration risks a further "balkanisation" of Iraq.

FIDH urges the United States and the Iraqi government to immediately stop the construction of the wall in the Adhamiya district in Baghdad.

The wall will inevitably create enclaves imposing unacceptable and substantial restrictions of their fundamental rights and liberties of the inhabitants of the "gated communities", such as freedom of movement.

FIDH recalls that the construction of walls and enclaves violates the rules and principles of international humanitarian and human rights law. That view was clearly stressed in the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on the "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" of 9 July 2004:

"that the construction of the wall and its associated regime impede the liberty of movement of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as guaranteed under Article 12, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. They also impede the exercise by the persons concerned of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living as proclaimed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child"

FIDH considers that the policy of building walls is characteristic of the states' failure and unwillingness to address the root causes of tensions or conflicts and undermines human rights, increases discrimination and exacerbates tension between nations or communities. Therefore, FIDH demands that all States refrain from erecting dividing barriers.

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