Judges in Iraq have been holding court sessions inside camps for internally displaced people (IDPs), in an effort to help families to rebuild their lives.
People who have fled Mosul now face bureaucratic battles to be freed from the residual effects of living under the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS). Mobile courts began visiting IDP camps in December to provide much-needed services for families and individuals seeking to obtain essential civil identification documents.
The courts operate with the support and cooperation of QANDIL, a Swedish humanitarian aid organisation that works in partnership with the United Nations refugee agency. QANDIL provides legal assistance to IDPs to facilitate the issuance of documents related to births, deaths, marriages and divorces.
As IDPs are restricted from leaving the camps, the mobile courts serve as an important conduit to the court system.
"In the beginning, it was kind of strange to open a court inside the camp," Aram Abdulkareem, a legal team leader in QANDIL's Khabat office, told Al Jazeera. "We suggested it, and at first they didn't take it seriously. But one of the judges said it was a great idea, and the whole thing started from there."
With the approval of the Nineveh Appeal Court, the courts began operating in the government-run Khazer M1 camp in December. After approximately a month based there, the Iraqi government suggested that the courts be transferred to al-Hamdaniya district. Mobile teams have now been assembled to visit three IDP camps once a week.