Iraqi government policy prevents local organizations from legally providing shelter to women and families escaping war and life-threatening violence.
The UN predicts that the battle for Mosul could make up to one million people homeless. This will exacerbate the already deadly humanitarian crisis.
Despite this growing emergency, it remains against public policy for local organizations operating in most of Iraq to provide shelter. This prevents survivors of violence from accessing life-saving services.
What’s more, without legal recognition, local organizations providing shelter in Iraq are forced to do so clandestinely. This makes these crucial safe havens less visible and accessible to women, children and others in desperate need.
I stand with Iraqi human rights organizations calling on their government to issue a directive allowing local organizations to provide shelter to survivors of violence. This will help:
- Save lives by bolstering Iraq’s capacity to meet the urgent needs of those escaping violence.
- Reach those in danger with vital care and shelter, through on-the-ground organizations with local expertise and networks.
- Alleviate the burdens placed on local authorities left scrambling to house masses of fleeing people pouring into their townships.