Republic of Iraq | Profile 2020 Migration Governance Indicators[EN/AR/KU]

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First Ever Assessment of Migration Governance in Iraq Highlights Good Practices, Areas for Further Development

Baghdad — In 2020, Iraq continues to face complex migration patterns. As part of post-conflict recovery efforts, following the territorial defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, there are strong opportunities for progressing migration governance.

Starting in 2019, Iraq’s migration policies were assessed according to the Migration Governance Indicators (MGI). The MGI is a standard set of 90 indicators that assist countries in assessing their migration policies and advance the conversation on what well‐governed migration might look like in practice. The research was undertaken by a specialist with expertise in Iraqi and international law as part of a programme co-led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a Technical Working Group (TWG) on migration, composed of representatives from several government ministries, with the support of the European Union.

The resulting MGI profile has now been published by IOM. It summarizes the well‐developed areas of Iraq’s migration governance structures and highlights areas with potential for further development.

The MGI profile notes, for example, that Iraq has adopted an integrated approach to border management, a best practice made possible with the establishment of the Border Points Commission in 2016. Iraq has taken concrete steps in recent years to develop legal instruments to counter trafficking in persons, including through an anti-trafficking law passed in 2012 and a labour law passed in 2015. The MGI profile also reveals that migrants lawfully residing in Iraq have access to public health‐care services, education and social protection.

However, Iraq currently does not have a national strategy to manage migration. As a signatory of the Global Compact for Migration, Iraq is committed to ensuring migration occurs in a safe, orderly and dignified manner.

“The MGI assessment helped identify key steps to implement the Global Compact for Migration in Iraq,” said Ahmed Raheem Hassan, the National Focal Point for the Global Compact for Migration at the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD). Supporting national implementation of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) is one of the assessment’s key objectives.

In addition to supporting GCM implementation, the assessment also complements efforts to achieve Target 10.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals — “[facilitating] orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”.

“The MGI report tells us that Iraq has the building blocks of good migration governance in place,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “The next step is to use these findings to develop a national migration strategy that advances the Global Compact for Migration objectives in Iraq and contributes to Iraq’s national development goals.”

A national strategy, currently under preparation with IOM Iraq’s support, will guide the many inter-linked actions needed to achieve this.

“Ultimately, our work on migration policy will directly benefit migrants within and outside the country by ensuring their rights and dignity,” said Talib Askhar Dusa, Chairman of Migration Affairs at MoMD.

Until 2003, when MoMD was established, Iraq had no history of a central governing institution with a migration mandate. Last year, Iraq became the first country in the MENA region to simultaneously complete both the MGI assessment and a Migration Profile — the first-ever statistical overview of migration in Iraq. The findings of the Migration Profile were released in December 2019; the complete version is being finalized in English.

In early 2020 the results of the MGI assessment were validated by officials representing ministries from the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. The TWG distilled the findings of the assessment into four thematic policy priorities: migration data, return and reintegration, legal frameworks, and economic affairs.

IOM is providing ongoing technical support to MoMD, the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Interior and the other government institutions represented in the TWG.

The MGI assessment was carried out with support from the European Union’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development. Research for the Migration Profile was supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

For more information please contact:

IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: The European Union Delegation to Iraq: Tel: +964 780 928 5377, Email: