Iraq

Managing return in Anbar: Community Responses to the Return of IDPs with Perceived Affiliation

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26 March, 2020

Managing return in Anbar: Community Responses to the Return of IDPs with Perceived Affiliation analyses the responses of Anbar communities directly affected by the ISIL conflict to the return of displaced community members with perceived affiliation. The study investigates three key areas: first, the factors that contribute to high or low levels of acceptance of IDPs with perceived affiliation; second, mechanisms put in place by communities to manage return of IDPs with perceived affiliation; and third, obstacles limiting the sustainable return of IDPs with perceived affiliation.

In Anbar, in some instances, returned IDPs with perceived affiliation have secondarily displaced after having been rejected by their communities of origin, which highlights important challenges to advancing towards a durable solution and to restoring trust and social peace. At the same time, communities have put in place mechanisms to facilitate and regulate return. Despite their controversial nature, if tailored to comply with a rights-based approach and do-no-harm principles, these mechanisms could be used as entry points for interventions looking at facilitating accepted returns.

Understanding the community's perspective on the return of IDPs with perceived affiliation is the first step to design short, medium and long-term interventions aimed at ensuring return as a pathway towards a durable solution, and to create a safe community environment where returned families who might have a lower level of acceptance among community members are empowered. Failing to ensure a sustainable return of community members with perceived affiliation who do wish to return might lead to new intra-community violence in the medium or long run. Throughout this process, however, it is important to hear the victims' voices and demands and to acknowledge their rights.

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