Despite the recent decline in violence and the UNHCR recommendation that refugee status for Iraqis be individually assessed rather than granted en masse, displaced Iraqis do not feel safe enough to return home, according to a Reuters article published Tuesday. The UNHCR had recommended that all Iraqis from the ‘central and southern governorates’ should receive refugee status until this May (see this Reuters article), when the Office revised their recommendation due to the decline in violence in Iraq. The Office still advocates that those who are currently benefiting from international protection retain their status and that all returns must be on an individual and voluntary basis, however, there have been recent reports of deportation (see this BBC article).
According to the Reuters article published Tuesday, many Iraqis feel that violence will increase and security will worsen as soon as the U.S. pulls out of the cities in June. Recent suicide bombing attacks in Iraq have brought the monthly civilian death toll up to nearly 300, the highest since November 2008. Resettling displaced Iraqis is key to achieving peace and necessary for the future security of the country. Leaders in Washington and Iraq must work together to find a sustainable solution in order to promote peaceful returns.
Despite the decline in violence, the List Project has not seen a decline in the number of Iraqis applying for our help. Please see these recent reports for more information on the U.S. response to the Iraqi refugee crisis and the plight of our Iraqi Allies:
Human Rights First ‘Promises to the Persecuted’