Nearly 10,000 Iraqi migrants returned home voluntarily in 2019

Nearly 10,000 Iraqi migrants and refugees have chosen to voluntarily return home from EU countries this year, according to The Summit Foundation for Refugee and Displaced Affairs (Lutka Foundation), a non-governmental organisation in Iraq. Most of the returnees have benefitted from reintegration support, in the form of job opportunities or financial aid. 

The number of Iraqi migrants who have migrated and requested asylum in European Union (EU) countries has reached 53,240, according to the Lutka Foundation. Although this figure only includes adults above the age of 18. 

 “57 Iraqi migrants and refugees have died in 2019, mostly en route and others in destination countries; 47 bodies have been repatriated by Lutka Foundation and another 10 migrants have been recorded as missing,”  said Ari Jalal, Head of Lutka Foundation, in a press conference on International Migrants Day, 18 December.

“There are several reasons behind this number, the most common one is that most of the migrant’s asylum applications will be denied and they cannot stay anymore” Ari jalal told TMP website.

“We have lots of cases that migrants couldn’t live in detention centers more without any progress in their application, they also had difficulties with learning the language of the country they applied in.” he added.

Rebaz, 28 from Sulaymaniyah, returned three months ago from Germany has expressed to TMP website his regret to take a “very risky” route to Europe.

“I applied twice for asylum but failed and no answers to my appeals, I worked in a restaurant and then in a car washes secretly for a while but soon I got upset, I felt like I was only a guest, I decided to return rather than spending my whole life with that terrible situation I had” Rebaz said.

Lutka Foundation urges Iraqi Kurdish authorities “to work to tackle the issues and reason behind this huge number of migrations, asking for better governance and combating corruption.”


Photo credit: Ververidis Vasilis

Photo caption: AEGEAN SEA, TURKEY – OCTOBER 18, 2019: Turkish coast guard caught immigrants. Refugees and Migrants aboard dinghies reach the Greek Island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey.