No Place Home - Iraqi Refugees between Precarious Safety and Precipitous Return - Conflict & Intl. Politics

Analysis

No Place Home - Iraqi Refugees between Precarious Safety and Precipitous Return

Iraqi refugees registering to receive support at a church in Jaramanah/Damascus.
© 2007 Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.

March 24, 2008
By Layla AL-Zubaidi and Heiko Wimmen
Large numbers of Iraqi refugees have been arriving in neighboring countries, especially Syria and Jordan, in particular since the conflict in Iraq evolved into large-scale ethno-sectarian violence and displacement. For a long time, this new and increasingly massive refugee crisis in the Middle East has been virtually ignored by Western media and public opinion.

With the apparent improvement of security in Iraq comes the danger that the slowly growing awareness of the dimensions of the crisis – which is yet to be followed by substantial action to address the plight of this people – may give way to expectations that the problem may just go away as people return, or that those who stay put in exile do so for ulterior motives, in particular eventual immigration to the “prosperity” of the West.

The following report attempts to give an overview of the origin and magnitude of the crisis, probes the likelihood of substantial numbers of refugees returning in the near future, and assesses the responsibility of international actors towards the refugees.

To read the article, please follow this link.

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