Refugees’ camps in Iraq and the Kurdistan territory are about to close down, according to Human Rights Watch. Camps in the Baghdad area are expected to close in December, and those in the Kurdistan region should be closed by 2021. As of today, 27.000 people were forced out of their housing in the camps, since October, where the first of these facilities started closing down.

These camps were created all over Iraq and the Kurdistan region, to provide housing and security to people who were forced to flee their homes due to ISIS’ attacks. Many of the families now residing in those camps fled their homes without anything else but their clothes and a backpack.

Even though human rights activists described the conditions of the camps as being similar to those of jail, and referred to the camps with the name of “open-air prisons”, these facilities were home to the displaced having nowhere to go.

A view of the Bardarash camp in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Photo by: Michael Igoe / Devex

 The Iraqi government is closing down these facilities since the danger that drove the displaced to them no longer exists. The ISIS was defeated in Iraq, and therefore the Iraqi authorities deem the existence of the camps unnecessary, since “civilians are no longer endangered by an active conflict” according to AlJazeera.

Warnings from the NGO Human Rights Watch still persist. This organization estimates that the displaced will now be forced into homelessness and poverty. What is more, dangers related to the ISIS conflict such as unexploded ordnance and hostile communities are still present.

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