Iraq Doubles Down on Refugee Camp Closures

11/20/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Iraq’s Minister for Immigration and Refugees is rapidly implementing the closure of all refugee camps. The current minister is Chaldean Christian Evan Faeq Yakoub Jabro and the goal is to have all refugee camps closed by March. The plan has been criticized by some members of Iraq’s High Committee on Human Rights.

The closure of these camps is a highly contested issue within Iraq. Most of the residents of these camps belong to those who fled ISIS, including religious minorities such as Christians. Three years have passed since Iraq announced that ISIS is officially defeated within the country. However, ISIS still remains and new security threats have emerged in the areas where these communities were displaced from.

As a result, internally displaced persons often do not want to return home and in many cases have refused any incentives from the government to return. On the other hand, six years have passed since displacement and the authorities do not want the camps to become a permanent feature of Iraq’s landscape.

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