Baghdad – Every child has the right to an education, but in Iraq nearly 3.2 million school-aged children – including around half of all displaced children – cannot enjoy this right. This prevents them from developing their full potential and makes them more vulnerable to social isolation, exploitation and abuse.
Last February, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq welcomed the decision of the Directorate of Education (DoE) of the Governorate of Nineveh to allow undocumented children and children whose state documents civilian are incomplete to continue their education and obtain official diplomas at the end of the school curriculum. year on presentation of their civil status documents. The key decision was achieved by citing as legal precedent a similar achievement achieved in Salah Al-Din Governorate in January 2022. These come after extensive advocacy efforts, consultations with local authorities and direct engagement with local authorities. DoE officials by IOM Iraq Legal Programming Unit. More than 3,000 undocumented children are expected to benefit from these changes.
Until recently and despite an earlier directive from the Ministry of Education, authorities at the governorate level required children to have valid civil documents to attend school. This posed a major problem for children whose documents were lost or destroyed during displacement, and children born during the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) occupation who did not receive documents. or whose documents are not recognized by the Iraqi authorities.
“This helps address a critical issue faced by returnee families and vulnerable households in Ninewa and Salah Al-Din with regards to children’s access to schools and formal education,” said the Head of IOM mission in Iraq, Giorgi Gigauri. “This achievement will serve as a precedent for IOM to scale up its efforts to support access to education for mobile populations in line with Iraq’s commitments under the Global Compact for Migration.
Access to civil status documents is a basic human right. It is necessary for the exercise of other rights, including education, health, adequate housing, freedom of movement and due process of justice. In the context of displacement and durable solutions, access to civil documentation is essential for voluntary and sustainable returns to areas of origin, as it helps facilitate access to government services and increases community cohesion by reducing social divisions.
IOM Iraq’s Legal Programming Unit also supports communities with direct legal services covering documentation; Right to housing, land and property; and family law, and offers capacity-building activities to authorities and community groups in order to increase individual and collective resilience in the face of conflicts and factors of violence.
The efforts of the IOM Iraq Legal Programming Unit to obtain the DoE rulings were made possible with the support of the Governments of Canada and Germany.
For more information, please contact IOM Iraq Public Information Unit, [email protected]