This Protection Needs Overview documents findings from protection monitoring efforts conducted between April and September 2022 in the Iraqi governorates of Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din. Five years after the defeat of the ISIS group in Iraq, the findings of this overview reveal a diverse set of protection needs for communities experiencing displacement, those who have returned to their areas of origin, and host communities.

Priority needs cited included health services, food, education, vocational training and livelihood support, and shelter. Barriers to accessing services included cost of service, the far distance of service providers/locations, security concerns about areas of service delivery, a lack of information about available services, and a lack of civil documentation critical to accessing services. Women, adolescent boys and girls, and persons with disabilities were reported as the most at risk of exploitation and abuse. Children faced unique protection challenges including child labor and high rates of school absences. The majority of IDPs surveyed indicated that they were not willing to return to their areas of origin.

In light of the humanitarian transition strategy in Iraq, it is more important than ever that actors working to deliver protection assistance are actively monitoring the protection and legal rights environment, and coordinating to share information and response plans across international and local actors, as well as with the Government of Iraq at federal and sub-national levels. The IRC’s protection monitoring achieves this objective by surveying a broad range of the Iraqi population and sharing the findings with key partners and using it to inform our response

The IRC Iraq’s protection and legal teams will continue to conduct legal awareness sessions to connect communities to the information they need, provide legal and protection support including cash for protection and attorneys, and work with local partners to ensure our programming meets individuals and families who may be in hard-to-reach geographic locations or who may be otherwise at a disadvantage due to factors such as disability or inability to travel. For more information on our civil documentation work, please see the September 2022 report, “Life in the Margins”.