Our Work

The Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights supports survivors of human rights violations, defends fundamental freedoms and promotes democratic values in Iraq and Syria. We seek a democratic society that protects the dignity of the human being, where adults and children enjoy the rights to life and freedom, and citizens are free from torture and terror.

Our Values

Our work follows the core values set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We believe in human dignity and promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the declaration. We help survivors of human rights violations, regardless of their age, gender, ethnic or religious affiliation.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

– Art. 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Our Story

In 2005, we opened the first treatment center for victims of torture in the city of Kirkuk, Iraq. Since then, we have established a network of twelve facilities in northern Iraq and northern Syria, supporting thousands of women, men and children every year.

Our Programs

The Jiyan Foundation provides survivors of violence and their families with physical rehabilitation, mental well-being and social reintegration programs. We are committed to ensuring that survivors can exercise to their basic human rights and are protected from further attacks. Through training and research, we are constantly improving the quality of our work. Our programs are:

Salah Ahmad: Founder and Chairman of the Jiyan Foundation

Salah Ahmad is a child and family therapist trained in Germany. During his many years at the Zentrum ÜBERLEBEN in Berlin, he treated hundreds of traumatized refugees from dozens of countries.

Salah Ahmad, who himself experienced flight and exile, has always been committed to human rights, minority interests, the prevention of violence, and improved access to psychological assistance for victims of violence in Iraq.

Following the fall of the Saddam regime, Mr. Ahmad returned to his native Iraq, where he opened the first treatment center for survivors of torture and war violence. During the following years, he used his many years of experience to establish the concept of psychotherapy and trauma treatment in Iraq.

Mr. Ahmad regularly commutes between Germany and Iraq. The success and reputation of the Jiyan Foundation enables it to influence policymakers, which in turn has a positive impact on patients’ lives.


For his tireless commitment to human rights, in February 2015 Mr. Ahmad was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit by German Development Minister Gerd Müller.

In 2018, the Jiyan Foundation received the HIM Award for outstanding commitment to the observance, protection and promotion of human rights of the Hamburg Human Rights Initiative.

How You Can Support

With your donation you support the building of a peaceful and free society in Iraq and Syria. They make long-term and visible changes possible for people who want to find their way back to a healthy and independent life after violence and war. You can find the donation form here.