Civil documentation serves as proof of one’s legal identity and civil status. Due to the lack of civil documentation, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees are unable to access basic services such as education and health care, experience restrictions on their freedom of movement, are exposed to an increased risk of arrest and detention and may be excluded from restitution and/or reconstruction programmes. The lack of civil documentation may also increase the risk of statelessness for undocumented children. According to the MultiCluster Needs Assessment 2020, 55% of IDPs in camps, 47% of IDPs in out-of-camp situations, and 57% of returnees1 in Iraq miss at least one core document.IDPs and returnees cite various challenges in obtaining civil documentation, such as a lack of knowledge of procedures, high transportation costs incurred accessing government offices in places of origin, complex court procedures, and meeting de facto requirements such as security clearances.
Given the grave consequences and challenges faced by IDPs and returnees who lack key civil documents, UNHCR, in cooperation with government and civil society partners, has implemented and supported a number of projects to enable IDPs and returnees to access civil documentation.