Since January 2014, the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has caused the displacement of over 6 million Iraqis – around 15 per cent of the population.
Displaced communities began to return in waves from March 2015, following the military campaigns to retake areas under ISIL control and driven by expectations of restored stability, which peaked between June 2017 and June 2018, when nearly 4 million individuals returned to their location of origin. Since then, the pace of returns (the percentage change in the number of returns) has slowed, settling at around 10 per cent per year, which means that around 1.3 million people are still displaced. The prolonged absence from home, coupled with unresolved inter-group dynamics and new concerns over the resurgence of ISIL, affects the internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) ability to return, and in some cases, triggers new displacement. By August 2020, new arrivals of families enduring primary or secondary displacement and/or failed returns were recorded in around 10 per cent of IDP locations. To date around 4,745,000 returns have been recorded across 2,070 locations in Iraq. Returns from abroad – including neighbouring Turkey and Syria and European Union countries – are also increasing and were recorded in 334 of locations (12%) at the time of data collection.
- International Organization for Migration
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