Millions in Iraq have taken shelter in displacement camps due to the US-led coalition airstrikes against Daesh, but now they have nowhere to go as Iraqi officials begin to shut down those facilities.
According to Aljazeera, families in Iraq are being forced into homelessness and poverty, human rights watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday, 1 December, as authorities continue to close down camps that once housed hundreds of thousands of civilians.
For more than six years dozens of camps scattered across Iraq and the Kurdistan region have housed victims of the 2014 onslaught by the terrorist group ‘ISIS’ many of whom were forced to flee their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
Although human rights groups have been openly critical of the encampments, at times referring to them as an open air prison, they have also functioned as a refuge for families with nowhere to go.
“Under international humanitarian law you’re only allowed as a government to forcibly displace people where there’s a military necessity, this is a different context because this is outside of the context of armed conflict, HRW senior crisis and conflict researcher, Belkis Wille said.
The official end of the war against ISIS means civilians are no longer endangered by an active conflict, but other dangers lurk including unexploded ordnance and hostile communities.
Now even the flimsy comfort of a UNHCR tent is gone, more than 27,000 people have been forced from their respective housing following the closure of 11 camps by authorities since mid-October.