Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

UNHCR: Security improved in 10 Iraqi provinces

UNHCR: Security improved in 10 Iraqi provinces

The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday that asylum seekers from southern and part of western Iraq should no longer be automatically considered refugees because of improved security.
Iraqis from Anbar in the west and nine southern provinces should be individually assessed if they apply for asylum abroad, the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said.
The southern provinces affected are Babil; Basra; Dhi Qar; Karbala; Muthanna; Maysan; Najaf; Qadisiyah and Wasit.
Asylum seekers from high-risk groups _ including religious and ethnic minorities _ should receive "favorable consideration," UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva.
About 40,000 Iraqis applied for asylum abroad last year, according to UNHCR.
Those who have already been granted some form of shelter abroad _ including the over 1.5 million living in neighboring Syria, Jordan and Egypt _ should continue to receive this protection even if they come from Anbar or the southern provinces, Redmond said.
"Return should be considered strictly on an individual basis" for those who fail to meet asylum requirements, he said.
UNHCR's new guidelines match those it already gives for the northern provinces.
The Geneva-based agency said the volatile security situation in the central provinces, including Baghdad, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Ad Din means people coming from there should be granted automatic refugee status.
While most parts of Iraq have stabilized after six years of war and U.S. military occupation, a series of attacks in the central provinces in recent week have raised concerns that there violence could flare again, especially as American troops proceed with their withdrawal.
"All asylum-seekers from these areas continue to need international protection and should not be sent back there," Redmond said.


Updated : 2021-04-23 08:27 GMT+08:00