Iraq + 1 more

UNHCR Iraq Protection Update - August 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



▪ Approximately 4,200 families across Iraq departed from camps while almost 500 families arrived in camps in August. The number of camp departures nearly doubled in August compared to July.

▪ Camp closures and consolidations resulting in forced evictions, forced relocations and coerced departures continued in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din Governorates.

▪ Families with perceived affiliation with extremists continue to endure collective punishment in the form of arrest and detention, confiscation of documents, physical and verbal abuse and denial of return.

Camp Closures, Forced Evictions and Relocations and Involuntary Returns

Based on data provided by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, the number of families who departed camps across Iraq nearly doubled from the previous month as 4,226 families (19,965 individuals) departed in August compared to 2,312 families (11,492 individuals) in July. In addition, nearly 90 per cent of families who arrived in camps in August were in secondary displacement as 454 families (1,862 individuals) out of the 499 families (2,113 individuals) newly arrived in camps were in secondary displacement. Such increase in the number of camp departures as well as the high percentage of secondary displacement can be attributed to the camp closures and increased security measures that led to forced evictions, forced relocations to other camps and involuntary returns of IDPs across the country.

In Anbar Governorate, IDPs in Amriyeat Al Fallujah (AAF) camp and Habaniyah Tourist City (HTC) camp expressed concerns about continued movement restrictions imposed by the government forces impacting their access to livelihoods and health care. In both camps, some IDPs expressed their willingness to stay in the camps due to security concerns in their areas of origin, while others stated they intended to return but are unable to due to infrastructure and housing destruction, tribal issues and lack of job opportunities in their areas of origin. Nevertheless, as a result of severe movement restrictions, many families decided to return.

In line with the recent high-level decision made by Iraqi national security authorities in Baghdad, the Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) issued a letter to camp management in Hammam Al-Alil (HAA) camp in Ninewa informing that 35 families from Anbar would be returned to their areas of origin. Under the auspices of the government forces, on 23 August, MoDM transported 37 families (140 individuals) from HAA camps to HTC camp in Anbar. Upon departure, 16 families reported being relocated against their will, and several others reported being mistreated during the convoy travel.