Iraq: Bi-weekly Protection Update (17 - 30 April 2018)
The national Protection and CCCM clusters issued operational guidance to partners in preparation for the elections for the Council of Representatives. UNHCR and partners distributed official voter education materials to support IDPs in exercising their right to vote in camp and non-camp settings.
Between 29 April and 2 May, 29 IDP families, mostly female headed households, were reportedly forcibly relocated by security forces from different neighbourhoods of Kirkuk city to nearby camps.
In mid-April, the Anbar Operations Command increased restrictions on the movement of IDPs from Amriyat Al-Fallujah camps.
The National Protection Cluster (NPC) and Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM)
Cluster issued operational guidance notes to partners prior to the election for the Council of Representatives on 12 May. The clusters coordinated with relevant authorities to monitor access and the ability of IDPs to vote freely and safely, and provide updates on campaign violations using an incident tracking matrix to share with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Office of Election Assistance. With the support of UNHCR, NPC and CCCM partners distributed official voter education material produced by the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in and out of camp locations such as community centres.
The NPC and CCCM clusters and UNHCR advocated that security actors remain outside of camps, and for the re-issuance of the of the Prime Minister’s April 2017 decree prohibiting access to camps by armed elements. The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) agreed to deploy staff in all polling stations, including those located within camps and informal settlements, and to conduct voter education, in particular to inform IDPs of the documentary requirements to vote. In some camps, primarily in Ninewa and Kirkuk, politicians have campaigned promising aid distributions if elected.
UNHCR established direct contact with IHEC at governorate level and facilitated their visits to IDP camps to identify and designate locations for polling stations, determine logistical arrangements and provide information about documentary requirements for IDPs to vote.