IOM Iraq’s resettlement assistance programme is an important contribution to international solidarity and burden sharing to find durable solutions for refugees and other vulnerable groups in Iraq who are unable to return to their country or area of origin, for fear of continued persecution or because they do not have an option to stay in their location of displacement.
IOM works closely with the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, Governments of countries of destination, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the implementation of the resettlement programme.
IOM Iraq’s resettlement unit handles the movements of migrants and refugees travelling under the auspices of IOM from the point of departure to the destination country. IOM’s assistance starts when a migrant is accepted by the resettlement country and a request to assist in the migrant’s movement is sent to IOM by its government authority, such as an embassy or the immigration department.
IOM’s movement operations staff are present at the Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Basra airports.
In the last few years, particularly because of the Syrian crisis, the number of refugees resettled from Iraq has increased because of the influx of Syrian refugees to Iraq, mainly the northern region of the country. Other groups include internally displaced persons fleeing the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Between 2007 and 2018, IOM Iraq has assisted in the resettlement of over 68,000 migrants from Iraq —3,258 in 2018 alone.
IOM case processing services are designed to help refugee applicants in lodging correct and complete applications for refugee status and assist governments by providing selection authorities with accurate, detailed and objective information in standard formats in order to streamline the interview and selection process.
Health Assessments and Travel Health Assistance
Health assessments in the context of refugee resettlement constitute one of IOM’s most established services. Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population, with health profiles that vary according to the displacement experience, pre‐existing health conditions and epidemiological profiles, among other factors. Health Assessments and Travel Health Assistance ensures that refugees and migrants are fit to travel and meet the requirements of the resettlement country.
IOM provides pre‐departure cultural orientation training courses for refugees accepted for resettlement.
Arranging the safe and orderly movement of refugees and other vulnerable persons is the cornerstone of IOM’s mandate which “concerns itself with the organized transfer of refugees, displaced persons and other individuals in need of international migration services for whom arrangements may be made between the Organization and the States concerned, including those States undertaking to receive them.”
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Committee of the Red Cross, Embassies of receiving countries, Local nongovernmental organizations, and Local governments.