Far From Home: Future Prospects for Syrian Refugees in Iraq

Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2019
Research, reports and studies
Protection, human rights & security, Forced displacement and migration, Host Communities
Syria, Iraq

Whilst the regional refugee response to the Syrian crisis has largely focused on Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, less is known about the situation of Syrian refugees in Iraq. Iraq hosts approximately 250,184 of the 5.6 million (4.4%) registered Syrian refugees in the Middle East region. The majority of them are of Kurdish ethnicity and arrived in Iraq following conflict in 2012 and 2013. Approximately 98.8% of the Syrian refugees in Iraq are registered in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah governorates. The remaining minority of Syrian refugees are registered in central and west Iraq. With conditions in Syria not being conducive for voluntary return in safety and dignity, there is a need to better understand the potential of Syrian refugees finding a durable solution in Iraq. Therefore, this study looks specifically at the potential for local integration in Iraq by assessing:

  • Syrian refugees’ progress towards local integration according to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) criteria on durable solutions, through comparisons with Iraqi residents.
  • The enabling and limiting factors impacting Syrian refugees’ ability to locally integrate.
  • Syrian refugees’ decision-making and long term preferred durable solution.