Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

New Home Office policies on safe areas of Iraq


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The Home Office has issued a series of new policy positions on safe return to Iraq. In summary:

  • The Home Office now seeks to depart from AA and to argue that there is no longer a 15(c) risk in Diyala, Salah al-Din, or Kirkuk (except for Hawija and surrounding areas), due to the ouster of ISIS from these areas. It is still accepted that there is a 15(c) risk in Anbar and Ninewa.
  • Conversely, they now appear to accept that many IDPs without a support network will face sub-Article 3 humanitarian conditions upon relocating internally.
  • They also appear to accept that some Sunni Arabs will face a risk at the hands of Shia militias in Baghdad and that IDPs are at greater risk. This guidance explicitly applies only to Arabs but it is arguable that the risk from Shia militias can also apply mutatis mutandis to Sunni Kurds without a support network in Baghdad.

Many thanks to colleague David Neale for flagging up and summarising these adjustments.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.