By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

The protection of victims of trafficking in Iraq:

Review of the applicable legal regime and assessment of related practices in the field

IOM recently completed the implementation of a 24-month project entitled “Supporting availability and access to specialized services for victims of trafficking and individuals at risk through the provision of basic assistance and technical support of first responders.”

Funded by the US Government’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the purpose of the project was to assess protection needs, identify gaps and challenges, and subsequently enhance the protection response for victims of trafficking and populations at risk, in and out of camps, across Iraq.

In this framework, IOM launched a research project aimed at analyzing Iraq’s Law on Trafficking in Persons (Law No. 28 of 2012) and its implementation. The author of the report served as a Legal Analyst within the Protection and Counter-Trafficking Unit of IOM mission in Iraq from May 2019 until August 2019.

The purpose of the consultancy was to analyze the compliance of the law with international standards, in theory, and to the extent of available, in practice. The analysis will aid in understanding how effective the law is in addressing counter-trafficking needs and identify legal and operational gaps in peace time and war time. A thorough review of the Iraqi law and its interplay with other branches of national laws –notably criminal and residency law– was conducted.

The research has also aimed at assessing the extent to which protection is available to victims of trafficking and people at risk of trafficking. It is an essential precondition to the development of effective strategies to contemplate any revisions to the law, rules or regulations, relating to the provision of protection and assistance to victims of trafficking. The report also provides a basis for IOM and other counter-trafficking actors in Iraq to self-reflect and adapt current projects.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: IOM)

Iraq, compared to neighbouring countries in the Middle East like Jordan and Lebanon, hosts the lowest number of immigrants relevant to the population. However, the country’s foreign population increased 338 per cent between 1990 and 2017, due largely to the influx of refugees from Syria.

Migration in northern Iraq is largely driven by conflict, while migration in southern Iraq is more often linked to livelihood factors such as the loss of arable land and water scarcity.

These, and other findings from the first Migration Profile for Iraq, were revealed on Thursday (19/12) during a press briefing at Baghdad’s Babylon Hotel. The Migration Profile was developed through a capacity-building process overseen by a Technical Working Group established by the Government of Iraq’s Ministries of Migration and Displacement; Interior; Foreign Affairs; Justice; Labour and Social Affairs; and Planning; as well as the Central Statistics Office alongside the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The Migration Profile presents facts and figures about migration; it is the first-ever statistical overview of migration in Iraq and will help establish an evidence base that will influence national migration policies and strategies including a National Migration Strategy. In October 2019 IOM also completed the Migration Governance Indicator (MGI) assessment that measures national capacities across 90 governance indicators in six thematic areas.

“The Migration Profile is the result of the first-year meetings between Iraqi ministries and IOM. It will influence both near and far-reaching migration policies,” said Ahmed Rahim, Director of the Department of Foreign Immigration at the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration.

“The Migration Profile demonstrates the Government of Iraq’s commitment to harnessing evidence-based and whole-of-Government approaches towards strong migration governance” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “The Migration data it contains can be leveraged in years to come to mainstream migration into policies and strategies.”

The profile shows that patterns of out migration have shifted significantly since 2003. During the period between the Gulf War and 2003, the primary destination for Iraqis migrating abroad was Iran; after 2003, Jordan and Syria emerged as primary destinations. Europe became a major destination after 2014, with Sweden, Germany and the UK standing out as significant destination countries.

In recent years, internal displacement has been a prime concern. Displacement driven by the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) presents a peculiar case, in that it has provoked more internal displacement than international migration — in part because previous countries of refuge were in crisis themselves (Syria) or inaccessible (Jordan). Emigration as a result of ISIL’s presence has reached Turkey, Europe and Western countries, rather than former asylum countries (Iran, Jordan, Syria).

Other findings of the profile relate to the Iraqi diaspora; trends of irregular migration; Iraqi students studying abroad; and more. IOM has carried out similar studies in over 80 countries around the world using a standard approach to the research. The profile uses existing knowledge and literature; interviews with government and international organizations; publicly available quantitative data; and non-public data shared both by Iraqi authorities and international organizations.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

Among many other priorities in the recovery of post-conflict Iraq, access to employment for the population in conflict-affected regions remains paramount.

The ability of the population to earn a living wage impacts the recovery process and has a direct bearing on future stability.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) created the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) to support economic recovery in Iraq.

The creation of EDF was a direct response to the Organization’s experiences in conflict-affected communities.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: Ministry of Industry and Minerals)

By John Lee.

Among many other priorities in the recovery of post-conflict Iraq, access to employment for the population in conflict-affected regions remains paramount.

The ability of the population to earn a living wage impacts the recovery process and has a direct bearing on future stability.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) created the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) to support economic recovery in Iraq.

The creation of EDF was a direct response to the Organization’s experiences in conflict-affected communities.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: Ministry of Industry and Minerals)

After ISIL, Agricultural Production Struggles to Recover in Parts of Iraq

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) occupied large swathes of Iraqi territory between 2014 and 2017.

The consequences of this occupation are still being felt in many rural areas where agricultural production was used as both a source of political propaganda and income, or destroyed as the group was forced out, a new IOM report says.

It is estimated that the group’s brutal three-year occupation reduced Iraq’s agricultural capacity by 40 per cent.

“It is necessary to prioritize the recovery and development of rural areas as part of our reconstruction and stabilization efforts,” said Siobhan Simojoki, Head of IOM Iraq’s Community Stabilization Unit.

“Agriculture should be considered as an essential facet of the stabilization process and focus on this area can help balance out longstanding rural-urban economic inequalities.”

The report, Rural Areas in Ninewa: Legacies of Conflict on Rural Economies and Communities in Sinjar and Ninewa Plains, published on 28 November focuses on agricultural output in Iraq’s third-largest governorate. Ninewa, in north-western Iraq, is also one of the country’s most fertile areas and has historically been the source of much of its grain and produce.

ISIL benefitted from the 2014 harvest completed in the months before taking over Ninewa; the group then profited from sales of the harvest and rain-fed crops, while forcing workers to continue operating agricultural infrastructure.

Finally, as ISIL was being pushed out, fighting, abuse, and revenge destruction caused severe lasting damage to the agricultural sector in the governorate.

ISIL purposely targeted rural areas for strategic purposes, i.e., access to their own steady food supply and the option to sell off agricultural produce for financial gain, but their overuse and, in some cases, deliberate destruction of agricultural land has had long-term consequences on many rural areas.

Almost two years after the military defeat of ISIL in Iraq, livestock are still missing in Ninewa, agricultural lands remain contaminated with explosives, and necessary machinery is lost or destroyed.

To date, many stabilization and post-crisis development efforts have targeted urban areas. Ninewa’s role in Iraq’s agricultural industry suggests that rebuilding agricultural livelihoods is an essential component to achieving successful stabilization in Iraq.

The presence of historically marginalized minorities in Ninewa’s rural areas is also of great importance, given the sensitivities of ethno-religious tensions related to land ownership; Ninewa Governorate is one of the most diverse in Iraq in terms of the number and prevalence of minorities. The new also report considers tensions in rural areas that have been worsened or ignited due to land and water policies, and agricultural decline under ISIL.

The studies conducted for this report were funded by USAID, within the framework of the project Supporting the Return of Displaced Populations in the Ninewa Plains and Western Ninewa.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: IOM)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM)‘s Enterprise Development Fund-Innovation (EDF-i) grants will target the tech sector and allow for new and startup tech companies to receive training, mentorship, and capital for innovative ideas.

In order to assess the current landscape of the tech sector, a market assessment specifically of tech sector businesses and needs was conducted in 2019.

The results suggest that salaries in the tech sector may be double the national average, and that there is potentially large demand for web design and e-commerce services.

Respondents reported poor command of the English language and logical thinking, a lack of technical expertise, and relevant academic backgrounds as skill barriers in finding qualified human resources.

These findings support labour market assessment findings in IOM’s communities of intervention, where requests for trainings in English and IT among youth represent easily actionable programming.

Read the full report here.

(Source: IOM)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

On Saturday night (12/10) almost 200 Syrian Kurds started crossing the border into Iraq’s Kurdistan Region (KRI) to escape bombardments in North Eastern Syria. The families crossed unofficial entry points into KRI, through the villages of Masaka and Sahela.

A day after their entry into Iraq, 182 Syrians were brought by local security forces to a processing center near the Sahela border in Duhok, KRI’s northernmost governorate.

IOM deployed Rapid Assessment and Response Teams (RART) in Sahela, to receive the Syrian families and evaluate their fitness to travel further.

Three medical professionals, including one psychologist, were on-site to carry out emergency health assessments. Roughly 30 patients sat for consultations; children were mostly found to be suffering from upper respiratory tract infections, tonsillitis and the flu; while among adults some of the health issues examined by the doctors were post-surgery complications, hyperthyroidism, and asthma.

The medical team also assisted two pregnant women, who were found to be in stable condition.

All patients were examined and given the necessary treatment where available. For cases that could not be treated immediately, follow up care will be organized.

At the processing centre, IOM has also provided food and drinks for the families. All individuals were then transferred by bus to Domiz 1 – a refugee camp in Duhok Governorate.

“IOM Iraq is gravely concerned by the emerging crisis in Northern Syria, that is putting thousands of already vulnerable individuals in harm’s way,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

“In collaboration with UN partners, IOM Iraq will support Syrians as they cross the border, and protect and assist those in need.”

IOM Iraq will continue to monitor arrivals the border. A REMAP study, linked to the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) initiative, will be carried out to assess the numbers of Syrians crossing into Iraq through official border points.

IOM Iraq will support the UN response to these inflows by providing transportation that can take Syrian families from the reception facilities to the camps; Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) services; health assessments (including mental health and psychosocial consultations) especially at the border; by monitoring flows for the production of DTM reports; providing shelter kits and other non-food items as needed; and by communicating with communities to facilitate information sharing.

(Source: UN)

On Saturday night (12/10) almost 200 Syrian Kurds started crossing the border into Iraq’s Kurdistan Region (KRI) to escape bombardments in North Eastern Syria. The families crossed unofficial entry points into KRI, through the villages of Masaka and Sahela.

A day after their entry into Iraq, 182 Syrians were brought by local security forces to a processing center near the Sahela border in Duhok, KRI’s northernmost governorate.

IOM deployed Rapid Assessment and Response Teams (RART) in Sahela, to receive the Syrian families and evaluate their fitness to travel further.

Three medical professionals, including one psychologist, were on-site to carry out emergency health assessments. Roughly 30 patients sat for consultations; children were mostly found to be suffering from upper respiratory tract infections, tonsillitis and the flu; while among adults some of the health issues examined by the doctors were post-surgery complications, hyperthyroidism, and asthma.

The medical team also assisted two pregnant women, who were found to be in stable condition.

All patients were examined and given the necessary treatment where available. For cases that could not be treated immediately, follow up care will be organized.

At the processing centre, IOM has also provided food and drinks for the families. All individuals were then transferred by bus to Domiz 1 – a refugee camp in Duhok Governorate.

“IOM Iraq is gravely concerned by the emerging crisis in Northern Syria, that is putting thousands of already vulnerable individuals in harm’s way,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

“In collaboration with UN partners, IOM Iraq will support Syrians as they cross the border, and protect and assist those in need.”

IOM Iraq will continue to monitor arrivals the border. A REMAP study, linked to the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) initiative, will be carried out to assess the numbers of Syrians crossing into Iraq through official border points.

IOM Iraq will support the UN response to these inflows by providing transportation that can take Syrian families from the reception facilities to the camps; Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) services; health assessments (including mental health and psychosocial consultations) especially at the border; by monitoring flows for the production of DTM reports; providing shelter kits and other non-food items as needed; and by communicating with communities to facilitate information sharing.

(Source: UN)