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Heartland Alliance International (HAI) has worked in Iraq since 2004, providing critical legal services and trauma-informed mental healthcare to vulnerable populations throughout Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. With a focus on building the capacity of local organizations, HAI uses a range of right-based and locally-driven strategies to create an equitable and just Iraq.

HAI’s direct access projects serve the most vulnerable people in Iraq, including children, survivors of torture, trauma, trafficking, and gender-based violence, the disabled, and individuals who have been deprived of their legal rights. HAI's capacity-building programs include training of community mental health workers, legal service providers, and journalists.

HAI in Iraq

Mental Health: HAI works to integrate mental health into primary healthcare systems, particularly in places where the mental health consequences of political violence affect large segments of the population. Learn more »

Torture Treatment: HAI provides psychosocial treatment services to survivors of torture, and provides training to community-based mental health workers, to increase access to quality care. Learn more »

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: HAI’s SGBV protection programs combine direct service on behalf of specific individuals with advocacy and organizational development, toward the goal of legislative and cultural change. Learn more »

Legal Services: HAI works to assure equal access, due process and protection for vulnerable groups under the law. Learn more »

Local Capacity Building: Partnering closely with local organizations strengthens their capacity and reach, and ensures long-term sustainability. Learn more »

Critical Priority Countries: HAI has built expertise with rapid start-up and effective management in acute emergency and post-disaster situations, to meet the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Learn more »


HAI works to provide services to Iraqi victims of violence and support local organizations through the following programs:

Strengthening the Rule of Law in Iraq: Implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) in Iraq

Strengthening Protection and Justice for Juveniles in Iraq

Improving the Effectiveness of Treatment for Torture Survivors

Access to Justice for Vulnerable Iraqis

Radio and New Media Production in Support of Ethnic and Sectarian Tolerance in Post-Election Iraq

Protecting Iraqi Victims of Trafficking through Direct Service, Documentation and Legislative Advocacy

Trauma Rehabilitation and Training Center (TRTC)

Face to Face Youth Program

Learn more:

Heartbeat Iraq: Heartland Alliance's newsletter on Iraqi programs.

Watch HAI's Iraq Country Director, Lynn Hiestand, speak on Inside Kurdistan Extra: