ICCT in the Media: IOM and ICCT roundtables in Iraq on repatriation from Syria’s Al-Hol

On 9 April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) and the National Security Advisory of Iraq convened a high-level roundtable in Baghdad on Prosecution, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (PRR) about the GoI-led repatriation of Iraqi nationals from northeastern Syria’s Al-Hol Camp. In this context, ICCT was featured in a UN Press Release and IOM News Statement.

This event was the fourth and final roundtable in a series launched in February 2022. The first roundtable, which took place on 22 February, focused on screening, risk assessments and needs assessments; the second took place on 24 February and focused on age-appropriate approaches to rehabilitation; the third was held on 27-28 March, focusing on ways to promote community acceptance in areas of origin and facilitate the reintegration of adults and children; and the latest event, on 9 April, looked at the way forward in the application of good practices in Iraq.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Mr. Giorgi Gigauri, stated, “To date, an incremental approach to the process of repatriation and onward return to areas of origin has allowed the GoI and UN to work together to identify ways to improve the process over time. Nonetheless, with the profiles of returnees likely to grow more complex, there are significant challenges to come. It is in this context and through these roundtables that IOM and UN partners are opening dialogue with the GoI on expanded support to address needs and gaps under the Global Framework.”

“In terms of proactively taking steps to fulfil its obligations to repatriate its nationals, Iraq has set an example on the global stage. Some 450 families, or nearly 1,800 individuals, have been repatriated since May 2021,” noted H.E. Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). “The United Nations is particularly appreciative of Iraq’s intention to not only continue but also to accelerate repatriations. And yes, we are ready to continue providing the required post-return humanitarian, protection and reintegration assistance.”

News articles from France 24, Al Araby, Kurdistan 24, RepublicWorld, AA, and Yeni Safak have also covered the roundtables and situation in northeastern Syria.