World Governments Failing Iraqi Refugees

The international community is evading its responsibility towards refugees from Iraq by promoting a false picture of the security situation in Iraq when the country is neither safe nor suitable for return, says Amnesty International.

"Governments have done little or nothing to help Iraqi refugees, failing in their moral, political and legal duty to share responsibility for them," said Amnesty International. "Instead, apathy and rhetoric have been the overwhelming response to one of the worst refugee crises in the world."

"People are being killed every month by armed groups, the Multinational Force, Iraqi security forces and private military and security guards. Kidnappings, torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention pervade the daily lives of Iraqis. People continue to attempt to flee, something that is now very difficult with the recent imposition of visa restrictions on Iraqis by Jordan and Syria."

According to the latest estimates of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Iraqis who have fled their homes has now reached 4.7 million, the highest since the US-led invasion of Iraq and the subsequent internal armed conflict.

While Syria and Jordan have shouldered most of the refugee influx, they have now resorted to drastic measures such as restricting entry and deporting people who may be at risk of persecution, partly due to the lack of support from the international community.

[Amnesty International]

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