OBSTACLES TO RETURNEE REINTEGRATION IN IRAQ: SAFETY, SECURITY AND SOCIAL RELATIONS

In Iraq, over one million families became displaced during the period of conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) between 2014 and 2017. Since the Government of Iraq declared victory over ISIL in 2017, 80 per cent of all families who became displaced have returned to their area of origin. However, returnees face persistent challenges in reintegrating into their area of origin – especially related to safety, security and social relations. This report draws on secondary data sources to examine these reintegration challenges in line with the Expert Group on IDP Statistics (EGRIS). It also highlights where these challenges are most prevalent across the country. Comparative analysis of conditions in return locations between October 2020 and September 2021 is also included.

HOME AGAIN? CATEGORISING OBSTACLES TO RETURNEE REINTEGRATION IN IRAQ

As of December 2020, Iraq has witnessed the return of 4.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their places of origin in the aftermath of the ISIL conflict. This is a significant returnee population and, while the movement home is a first step toward reintegration, it is not necessarily an indication of longer-term sustainability per se.

The analysis in this report, by IOM Iraq, the Returns Working Group (RWG), and Social Inquiry, builds upon on and complements previous assessments on durable solutions, mainly with regards to obstacles to return as well as progress toward local integration for IDPs. The focus here is specifically on returnees and obstacles to their sustainable reintegration upon return. The criteria used to examine returnee advancement towards reintegration is based on the International Recommendations for IDP Statistics indicators framework developed by the Expert Group on Refugee and IDP Statistics (EGRIS) in 2020.