Tree in Christian town Al Qosh in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Hillside in Al Qosh. Located 50km north of Mosul, it is the only Christian town that survived Daesh. In 2014, Daesh came within three kilometres of Al Qosh before being driven out by the Peshmerga.

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Hillside in Al Qosh. Located 50km north of Mosul, it is the only Christian town that survived Daesh. In 2014, Daesh came within three kilometres of Al Qosh before being driven out by the Peshmerga.

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Article 36 is a specialist non-profit organisation focused on reducing civilian and environmental harm from weapons. They mitigates the impacts of armed conflict as well as developing new policies and legal standards to prevent civilian harm from existing and emerging weapons globally.


Anti-personnel landmines were prohibited under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, but over eight million landmines still lie active in Iraq. Article 36 partnered with Mines Advisory Group in Kurdistan Region of Iraq to study the impact of airstrikes, cluster munitions, land mines, unexploded ordnance and toxic remnants of war [uranium weapons, chemical agents, dumped fuel and explosives]. Article 36 believe that in the absence of a common international standard for minimising harm and dealing with the environmental legacy of armed conflict, persistent environmental problems will continue to be created, and with them, long-term threats to the health and livelihoods of civilians.


The United Nations Security Council periodically holds an open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, and the UN Secretary General issues a report on the protection of civilians every year. To find out more, please visit their website: http://www.article36.org/


Ongoing series [2019-Present]

Bardarash Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Bardarash Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Bardarash Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Kurdish Syrian refugee woman in Gawilan refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Gulstan, a Kurdish-Syrian refugee in Gawilan refugee camp in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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Gulstan, a Kurdish-Syrian refugee in Gawilan refugee camp in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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"I lost my brother and my mother in law in Ras Al Ain, Syria. I had to leave their bodies where they were and just leave. They burned our homes and destroyed everything. I fled with nothing. I had to sell all my gold to pay the smuggler to come to Iraq. I was a teacher in Syria – I want to work and I applied to Aleppo to get a new certificate but I can’t afford it. My son went to an English course that I paid for, but I don’t have the money for the certificate. I just want the men to be able to work. We are educated people, and we want to go out – but it is not safe to go back to Syria. After I gave birth I had pain in my eyes and I couldn’t see or concentrate. I went to the clinic and they just gave me painkillers, which didn’t work. I said please send me to a doctor. I asked for a check on my blood pressure, but they said they didn’t have time. I felt they were laughing and treating me very badly. The children are going to the school here, but we don’t want this life in the camp – what is their future? They are the future, and if they don’t have their base of education, when they grow up what will they be?

This war was not our fault – we want to raise our voice, we want someone to listen, and to solve this situation."


Gulstan, a Kurdish-Syrian refugee in Gawilan refugee camp in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

Choman Province in the Kurdish Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Choman Province in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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Choman Province in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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Children running in Akre in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Children running in the hillsides surrounding Akre.

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Children running in the hillsides surrounding Akre.

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Syrian Qamishli child refugees in Bardarash refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Mohammed [20] and Alan [14], refugees from Qamishli city in Syria inside their tent in Bardarash refugee camp.

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Mohammed [20] and Alan [14], refugees from Qamishli city in Syria inside their tent in Bardarash refugee camp.

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"Mohammed and I have our own language, and I feel very special because of that. When we left our home I was so afraid for Mohammed. I wanted us to leave the city because I was scared for him. He is the most important person in my life. He's my big brother. When the bombing started, I asked my family to go down to our relative’s basement because I knew we would be safer there. The bombs would not be able to hit Mohammed in the basement. The best way to calm Mohammed down is to make him laugh – when I have the phone, I show him Kurdish comedy on the internet. During the airstrikes, I kept telling Mohammed it's ok, it's ok, I am your brother, and I love you. I kept telling him that we will leave soon and be safe again."


Mohammed [20] and Alan [14], refugees from Qamishli city in Syria inside their tent in Bardarash refugee camp.



Sunrise in Akre in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Sunrise in Akrê.

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Sunrise in Akrê.

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Syrian Rojava child refugees in Bardarash refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Cousins from Rojava, Syria play a card game during a powercut at a refugee settlement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Cousins from Rojava, Syria play a card game during a powercut at a refugee settlement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Kurdish Syrian refugee woman in Gawilan refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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*Amina, Gawilan refugee camp

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*Amina, Gawilan refugee camp

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"From Ras al Ain we walked with a smuggler, whilst I was holding our baby. I was scared doing this in the night with the baby, walking all the way – it was very far and she was heavy, and I saw many difficult things on the way – people with children who were struggling. We knew that if the YPG saw anyone trying to flee they would block them and send them back, and we even heard that the Peshmerga will give people back to the YPG. In the daytime we hid in a tunnel – Fatma wasn’t crying because I was feeding her to make sure she didn’t cry and to make her sleep. When it was dark, the smuggler told us to move. I wrapped her in a blanket and gave her a dummy so that she would sleep, and then we walked.

After we entered the KRG, the smuggler told us we were here – we went to a village and we were so thirsty, we went to a mosque to drink water. Ten dogs came towards us, and Mohammed and my husband were throwing stones at the dogs to get them to go away. Someone from the Peshmerga took us to Somel in Dohuk, then took us on buses to his camp, and now we are here".


*Amina, Gawilan refugee camp

Demining men near Duhok in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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A demining team in Duhok work on a mine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) clearance with Mines Advisory Group.

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A demining team in Duhok work on a mine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) clearance with Mines Advisory Group.

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 Landscape in Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Sulaymaniyah, Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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Sulaymaniyah, Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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Night in Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Demining men near Duhok in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Demining team in Duhok work on a mine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) clearance with Mines Advisory Group. Mines Advisory Group Iraq has worked in Iraq since 1992 to make land safe for populations affected by decades of conflict.

Manual mine clearance techniques rely on demining teams working along marked lanes using metal detectors, prodders, rakes and excavation tools to identify, remove and dispose of mines and unexploded ordnance. 

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Demining team in Duhok work on a mine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) clearance with Mines Advisory Group. Mines Advisory Group Iraq has worked in Iraq since 1992 to make land safe for populations affected by decades of conflict.

Manual mine clearance techniques rely on demining teams working along marked lanes using metal detectors, prodders, rakes and excavation tools to identify, remove and dispose of mines and unexploded ordnance. 

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Prosthetic limbs in Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Prosthetic limbs in Slemani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Prosthetic limbs in Slemani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Kurdish Syrian refugee woman in refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Amina* inside her tent at a IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Amina’s husband joined ISIS after they married, and was later killed by an airstrike in Mosul after the birth of their first two children. Amina married at 14 after the death of her father, and gave birth to her third child in the very tent I photographed her in.

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Amina* inside her tent at a IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Amina’s husband joined ISIS after they married, and was later killed by an airstrike in Mosul after the birth of their first two children. Amina married at 14 after the death of her father, and gave birth to her third child in the very tent I photographed her in.

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“I had two sons who married and then joined ISIS. They were killed too. One child I buried myself, and my brother told me about the death of my other son. All my relatives and my brothers were in ISIS, and they brainwashed the children. Their father was not like that, he was not a terrorist.
I’m a mother. I didn’t want my sons to join ISIS but I couldn’t stop them. It feels better to die than stay alive. They joined ISIS to harm people. They joined ISIS and brought us to ISIS. If they hurt people and did bad things, even though they passed away, I hope and pray they are going to hell. The day I lost my son, I stayed quiet. I didn’t speak to God. God gives, and God takes.” 


Amina's mother at a IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Munition in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Munition, held in Dohuk, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Munition, held in Dohuk, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Torture scars on arm by ISIS in Gawilan refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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*Ahmed's scars from being tortured by ISIS, in Gawilan refugee camp

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*Ahmed's scars from being tortured by ISIS, in Gawilan refugee camp

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"One day at about 4am, suddenly it sounded like someone had kicked down the door. I had a huge headache and was taking a lot of medicine, and I was not feeling good in my mind – I saw everyone run and hide, and then a man silhouetted dressed in black, with a long beard, holding up a samurai sword and shouting “Allahu Akbar” and I was really scared. This was free Armya of syria. They had entered into Afrin, and they took every man they could find in the house.


They kidnapped and blindfolded me – I found myself in a room tied to a chair, and they told me to put my leg on an iron chair and tied me to it. They burned me on the leg with a poker and metal pole and tortured me. They were trying to get information from me about what the YPG was doing, but I didn’t inform on my neighbours, I just said I didn’t know anything because I was sick. They put a knife on my neck and cut my neck and I thought they were going to kill me, and they slashed my back. They electrocuted me as well. I was still suffering from my other injuries too. They had me for 15 days. I kept saying to them I’m injured, I’m sick, I need medicine but they didn’t believe me. I gave them my address so my family could give them all the reports and the medicine to show I was sick. Whilst I was there I could hear women and children crying. ISIS arrested the women and raped them next door. It messed up my mind. They were torturing and raping people. It was really affecting me mentally - they were evil".


*Ahmed, Gawilan refugee camp

Deactivated land mines in Duhok in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Deactivated land mines in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Deactivated land mines in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Shepherd and sheep near Dinartain in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Muhammad, his grandson and his large flock of sheep near the town of Dinarta.

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Muhammad, his grandson and his large flock of sheep near the town of Dinarta.

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Peshmerga military in Choman Province in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Ahmed, a member of the Peshmerga military in Choman Province in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. The Peshmerga, along with their security subsidiaries, are responsible for the security of Kurdistan Region.

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Ahmed, a member of the Peshmerga military in Choman Province in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. The Peshmerga, along with their security subsidiaries, are responsible for the security of Kurdistan Region.

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“I love to walk, and I love mountains. I’ve always walked for my health. And my hobby is to be in nature. In the war, I was walking during a dictatorship and in a place of pain. Now when I walk, I walk without the pain. It’s heaven. How could this not be heaven? Before we had no right to breathe but now we’re free. Imagine, at the top of this mountain where we’re walking was an Iraqi military base. Now you see they’re free. The mountains are free. We sacrificed our blood to be free. I sacrificed my blood. And here I am, walking again”. 


Ahmed, a member of the Peshmerga military in Choman Province in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. The Peshmerga, along with their security subsidiaries, are responsible for the security of Kurdistan Region.

Yazidi pilgrim inside Lalish temple in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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A Yazidi pilgrim walks past rows of olive oil jars pressed from local groves inside Lalish temple in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The mountain valley temple of Lalish is the holiest site for the Yazidi faith.

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A Yazidi pilgrim walks past rows of olive oil jars pressed from local groves inside Lalish temple in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The mountain valley temple of Lalish is the holiest site for the Yazidi faith.

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Peshmerga inside Erbil bazaar in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group.
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Peshmerga portrait hanging inside Erbil's central bazaar.

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Peshmerga portrait hanging inside Erbil's central bazaar.

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Amna Suraka Museum genocide memorial in Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Amna Suraka Museum, and genocide memorial, in Sulaymaniyah

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Amna Suraka Museum, and genocide memorial, in Sulaymaniyah

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ISIS weapons knives in Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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ISIS weapons held at a compound in Southern Iraq.

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ISIS weapons held at a compound in Southern Iraq.

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VS-50 land mine at Amna Suraka Museum genocide memorial in Sulaymaniyah Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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VS-50 land mine, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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VS-50 land mine, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Lalish in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Natural gas burn off in Lalish, Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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Natural gas burn off in Lalish, Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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Woman inside home Tulaband Village in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Jamela, Tulaband Village

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Jamela, Tulaband Village

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"It was midnight when we received a call from other villages near us in Sinjar to say ISIS were attacking. We immediately fled, terrified by stories of what ISIS had done elsewhere, going first to Kalak, then on to Erbil and to Kirkuk where we stayed for 14 days. Two of my daughters were already in Kalak, and another in Kirkuk, but the rest of us all fled together. After that we drove back to Safiya and rented a house.


On 30 May 2016 our area was liberated and on 3 March 2017 we returned home. We found our house burned and badly damaged. We stayed in a small shelter while we cleaned up and worked to rebuild the house. For that time we had no electricity except for during the evening when the Peshmerga would share theirs, and the children attended school only every other day. Our community temple was also completely destroyed and surrounded by IEDs. MAG has cleared the area, and a French NGO rebuilt it.


Now not everyone has returned - some have made their lives elsewhere. But we feel safe and more optimistic now - the health clinic has reopened and our kids can go to school now."


Jamela, Tulaband Village

Shepherd portrait in Christian town Al Qosh in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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A shepherd on a hillside in Al Qosh. Located 50km north of Mosul, it is the only Christian town that survived Daesh. In 2014, Daesh came within three kilometres of Al Qosh before being driven out by the Peshmerga.

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A shepherd on a hillside in Al Qosh. Located 50km north of Mosul, it is the only Christian town that survived Daesh. In 2014, Daesh came within three kilometres of Al Qosh before being driven out by the Peshmerga.

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Peshmerga sculpture in Dohuk Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Sculpture of Peshmerga in Dohuk. The Peshmerga, along with their security subsidiaries, are responsible for the security of Kurdistan Region.

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Sculpture of Peshmerga in Dohuk. The Peshmerga, along with their security subsidiaries, are responsible for the security of Kurdistan Region.

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Man hiker peshmerga in Choman Province Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group.
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Hiker in Choman Province

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Hiker in Choman Province

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Siktan hillside in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group.
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Hillsides surrounding Siktan

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Hillsides surrounding Siktan

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Two men drinking chai tea Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group.
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Abdul and his son inside their new home in Iraqi Kurdistan. Nine months ago, they left Rojava, Syria to build a new life.

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Abdul and his son inside their new home in Iraqi Kurdistan. Nine months ago, they left Rojava, Syria to build a new life.

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Father and son in Tulaband Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group.
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Talal and his son inside their home in Tulaband, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Talal and his son inside their home in Tulaband, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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"When we came back at the end of 2016 I checked the house. I was careful about opening the door because I knew that ISIS were putting IEDs everywhere. I parked my car at the temple up the hill and walked down the road looking out for IEDs. I went up the stairs to overlook the indoor courtyard of the house, and I saw 2 IEDs there in the middle of the courtyard – there were these two blocks wrapped in blankets, and I didn’t know they were IEDs at first, but looking down carefully I could see wires coming out of them. So, I put a sign outside marking the house to try and make sure people would recognise that it was dangerous and didn’t try to come in. When I came back next time, I saw two of my brothers’ homes were destroyed. ISIS even put IEDs in people's fridges. The Peshmerga cleared some of the hazards, then MAG came and started their work. If not for them, we wouldn’t have been able to farm for next year. From here to Hamdaniyah, they have cleared everything – without this work no one would have come back. We were very scared of returning at first and we would walk together holding hands very closely. As people have returned, it has become more secure. We feel secure right now but not 100% - but thank god we are living our life back here."


Talal inside his home in Tulaband, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Man standing in snow near Erbil Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group.
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Highway 18 between Erbil and Shaqlawa in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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Highway 18 between Erbil and Shaqlawa in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

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Syrian Rojava child refugees in Bardarash refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Children watch Kurdish cartoons on Gulshan’s phone inside Bardarash Refugee camp

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Children watch Kurdish cartoons on Gulshan’s phone inside Bardarash Refugee camp

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UNICEF and Mines Advisory Group land mine awareness programme for Syrian Rojava child refugees in Bardarash refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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UNICEF and Mines Advisory Group's land mine awareness programme for child refugees inside Bardarash camp.

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UNICEF and Mines Advisory Group's land mine awareness programme for child refugees inside Bardarash camp.

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Refugee woman portrait in Bardarash refugee camp in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Amena, a Kurdish-Syrian refugee in Gawilan refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Amena, a Kurdish-Syrian refugee in Gawilan refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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Man in home in Tulaband village in Kurdistan Region of Iraq by photojournalist Emily Garthwaite Article 36 and Mines Advisory Group
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Abdullah, Tulaband village

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Abdullah, Tulaband village

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"When we got to our village, my brother Moyed and I decided to go and check on the house. I slowly opened the door to the bedroom of the house and when I saw that it was not rigged to an explosive I felt more confident and went to open the wardrobe. It was then that the blast hit me. Previously I had been in the engineering division of the army and in the demining team, but I had never imagined that ISIS would have put IEDs in all the places that they did. They used everything and put IEDs everywhere. MAG later found 12 IEDs in my house alone.


The explosion injured me badly - when we got to the hospital in Kalak my brother had to call our family to explain what had happened. In the end I had an operation to remove all of the shrapnel from my body - it cost $1800. Even now, when it is cold in the winter my leg hurts from the shrapnel wounds. After my injury I was worried about returning, but once MAG cleared the area I felt more confident that me and my family would be safe"


Abdula, Tulaband village

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