Duhok in Kurdistan Iraq where Anna Rósa is doing voluntary work for Helping Herbs has twenty camps for refugees and internally displaced people. The safety situation is appalling and violence against women is a particularly acute problem.

Duhok in Kurdistan Iraq

The district of Duhok in Kurdistan Iraq has had its share of armed conflict and brutality. There are sixteen refugee camps in this district only, aimed at helping internally displaced men, women and children. Four more refugee camps are operated for Syrian refugees, whose numbers rose to more than 83.500 people at the end of last May.

Refugees from Syria

In Kurdistan Iraq, 38% of Syrian refugees dwell in nine refugee camps, four of which are located in Duhok. The number of Syrian refugees increased further in the wake of Turkish military operations in the North-East part of Syria in October 2019.

Internally displaced people

According to a recent estimation, there are some 64.500 families of internally displaced people in the district of Duhok. A big majority comes from the district of Sinjar. Of those, most are Yezidis, mercilessly persecuted by ISIS who waged a war of genocide against them. Internally displaced people from Sinjar are reluctant to return home because of the instability they will face.

The plight of the women

As the number of conflict areas around the world is growing, the concern internationally for the situation in the refugee camps is diminishing, even though the plight of the people living there is just as dire as before. Local authorities in the district of Duhok have done their utmost to maintain a standard of service to the refugees, mostly from Syria, as well as to locally displaced people. Their plight is therefore getting worse, even if it was bad enough before. The safety situation is appalling as well as the respect for the private life of the people. Violence against women is a particularly acute problem.

By Hjörleifur Sveinbjörnsson

Hjörleifur is a jack of many trades. He studied Chinese and Chinese literature at Peking University and has subsequently published a couple of books related to China. Hjörleifur prefers the outdoors to being hemmed in by four walls.



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