Protection of Marginalized Individuals (PMI) is an AIC outreach and education initiative in Baghdad, Iraq that works to aid and empower individuals who practice alternative lifestyles. Specifically, those who face violence due to their real or perceived sexual orientation, those who engage in “alternative” behaviors or lifestyles and those who face honor crimes.
In 2009, a campaign of violence against homosexuals swept across Iraq, resulting in the death of nearly 120 men. In 2012, a disturbing new trend emerged targeting Iraqi youth who identify as “Emos” (from English: “emotional”). In Iraq, self-professed Emo individuals often possess an affinity for Western music, piercings, longer, styled hair and depictions of skulls on clothing.
The PMI initiative seeks to protect such marginalized lifestyle individuals by fostering a culture of tolerance among Iraqis through community outreach and public education. PMI also creates and manages a network of Iraqi and international NGOs to centralize and improve direct outreach to threatened individuals.