You can use this article to learn how to apply for compensation for damaged or destroyed property for war-affected victims in Iraq.
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Can the government provide compensation for lost or damaged property?
Yes, under Iraqi law (Law 20 of 2009, Law 57 of 2015 (1st amendment) and Law 2 of 2020 (2nd amendment), war-affected victims who have had their property damaged or destroyed as a result of the war are entitled to compensation from the government.
Compensation can be claimed for:
- Agricultural land
Who is entitled to compensation?
You may be entitled to property compensation if you can prove you are the owner of any of these property types or if you are a family member of the owner (Article 1 of Law 57).
Note that you cannot claim compensation for the same damaged/lost property more than once.
How do I claim compensation?
In order to claim compensation, you need to have a number of documents:
- Identification document, which could include either National ID Card, Unifi¬ed Card, Civil Status Card or Citizenship Certificate
- Residence Certificate Card
- Proof of ownership of the property or title deed
- Evidence that the property was damage
- Photos or videos, or
- Signed statement of the damages by a Mukhtar or a humanitarian organization, or
- Two Witness statements by a neighbor or a person who witnessed the incident causing the damage.
How to make a claim for compensation?
- Go to your local Investigative Court near you and ask for a Property Proof Form. Complete the form and provide details of the damage including when and how the damage happened. Attach a copy of your ID and property ownership documents (like title deed).
- The court will then transfer the claim to the local police station, who will investigate and try to confirm the details around the damage. The police may contact you at this stage in order to carry out a security clearance, take your statement and witness statements, which are then confirmed by the investigative judge.
- You should then be contacted by an Evaluation Expert who is assigned by the Compensation Sub-Committee to visit your property to assess the damage or loss of your property to your property.
- The Evaluation Expert will then provide their findings in a report or a ‘Damage Count Form’. This form will be reviewed by a Judicial Expert who will submit it to the Compensation Sub-Committee.
- Your claim will then be assessed by the Compensation Sub-Committee as to whether you should or should not be awarded compensation. If they find that you should be awarded compensation, they will recommend the value of how much compensation you should be awarded.
- If successful, you have the right to say whether you think the value of the lost property is correct or not. If you agree with the value suggested, your claim will be transferred to the Central Compensation Committee for approval and you will receive a letter with a claim reference number stating your eligibility for compensation.
- If you do not agree with the value suggested, you can appeal the decision at the Central Compensation Committee using the appeal form and any extra evidence that is relevant to support your claim. You have 60 days to submit this appeal.
- The Central Compensation Committee will review your claim and appeal documents, and make a decision. If you do not agree with the second decision, you can appeal using the appropriate appeal form to the Supreme Administrative Court. You have 30 days from the date of the notification of the second decision to appeal. The Supreme Administrative Court will then review your second appeal and issue a final decision, which cannot be appealed any further.
- The Ministry of Finance is responsible for providing the funds once all the legal procedures are over.
How long will it take for my claim to be processed or for the compensation to be provided?
There is no set time as to how long it takes for a compensation claim to be processed, as it depends on the case and the governorate. But in general, the process will usually take from 6 months to a number years.
You can start a claim at any point, and seek legal advice if needed.
Where can I get more information?
Some humanitarian actors provide free legal assistance on housing, land and property issues. For more information please contact:
Iraq Information Center (IIC) Telephone (toll free): 80069999 IRC FARM: 0751 735 4229
This page provides general information and should not be taken as legal advice.