Human Rights Watch warns against closing IDP camps in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, citing threats to Shigur (Şengal) residents

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region of Iraq — In a recent statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that closing internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) could threaten the rights and safety of many residents of Shigur (Şengal / Sinjar).

HRW expressed concern that the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displaced Persons’ plan to close the camps endangers IDPs from Shigur, stating that the area remains unsafe and lacks essential services necessary to ensure the basic rights of thousands of IDPs.

The organization noted that 23 camps in the KRI currently host approximately 167,000 people, mostly from Shigur. HRW cautioned that the government risks worsening the already dire situation due to the area’s inadequate services, infrastructure, and security.

HRW identified several obstacles preventing Shigur residents from returning home, including the government’s failure to provide compensation for lost property and livelihoods, delays in reconstruction, an unstable security situation, and a lack of justice and accountability for past violations against them.