Clowns without borders toured the KR-I, playing shows for children in camps and urban areas. Further, “16 days of activism for the eradication of gender-based violence against women” was rolled out across the region: in Sulaymaniyah the focus of attention was on safe learning environment as per global theme “Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All”.
Syrians continue to arrive to Iraq: in December 2015, 4,773 Syrians entered KR-I through the Peshkhabour border post and 169 persons were admitted as asylum-seekers. UNHCR registered during the reporting period 2,377 Syrian asylum seekers. UNHCR recorded the spontaneous return of 1,050 individuals to Syria through the Peshkhabour border. Most of the individuals returned this month to Al Hassaka (60%) and to Aleppo (38.5 %). The returnees mainly resided in Erbil Governorate’s out of camp areas.
Focus Group Discussions in camps and urban areas suggests that refugees are well aware of the risks illegal migration entails. Refugees also point out the seasonal risks, and many are awaiting legal migration opportunities either through family reunification with close relatives, or through resettlement or other forms of humanitarian admission. UNHCR has observed a significant reduction in departures of Syrians in December 2015.
UNHCR’s new protection monitoring tool for refugees (PMT) was field-tested by QANDIL, who operates in Erbil Governorate. It is expected that the use of this electronic monitoring tool will improve the analysis of the protection situation and timely responses across the KR-I. Across the region, legal assistance was provided to ensure that refugees are accurately documented and thus access civil status documents, residency documents, and other documentation of relevance to their realization of refugee rights.