HHI Report: Survey finds northern Iraq communities targeted by Islamic State are denied justice

Corruption, impunity, mistrust threaten fragile peace.

Main Findings

Read the full report in English and in Arabic here.

Executive Summary

This survey offers a snapshot of the perceptions and attitudes about peace and justice within communities affected by the conflict with the Islamic State (IS). It is based on 5,213 interviews conducted in 2019 among a representative sample of internally displaced persons in northern Iraq and residents of the city of Mosul and surrounding areas.

Author Quotes

“Amid the current security and economic crises in Iraq, and now with COVID-19, the new Iraqi government needs to address the fundamental lack of trust that the Iraqi people have toward their government and listen carefully to the communities affected by the ensuing violence. This report provides such perspectives.”


This study captures the needs, perceptions and attitudes of conflict-affected communities in northern Iraq as they relate to peacebuilding, transitional justice efforts, and ethno-religious relations after the military defeat of the Islamic State. The study focused particularly on the city of Mosul and internally displaced persons (IDP) from Nineveh Governorate who currently reside both within and outside of camps in the Nineveh, Erbil, and Duhok governorates.


The research was conducted by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in partnership with Mosul University and the Iraq-based Public Policy Institute. It was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, which played no role in the design, analysis or publication of the research.

Program Description

HHI’s Peace and Human Rights Data Program utilizes rigorous quantitative and qualitative research methods pioneered fifteen years ago by its faculty lead to assess needs, perceptions and behaviors among individuals affected by conflict and other forms of violence, with a focus on justice, peacebuilding, and social cohesion. The program builds local research capacity in countries experiencing complex emergencies and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law to ensure that the views and needs of the populations are recognized and addressed by governments, UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations.


Patrick Vinck, Director of Research, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative pvinck@hsph.harvard.edu

Research and education to empower communities in crisis. hhi.harvard.edu | https://twitter.com/HHI

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