UK Upper Tribunal: new country guidance on the availability of internal relocation for Iraqi Kurds

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

On 26 June 2018, the UK Upper Tribunal ruled in case AAH (Iraqi Kurds - internal relocation) (CG), which gives country guidance on the availability of an internal flight alternative in the Iraqi Kurdish Region for individuals of Kurdish origin. The case updates some of the guidance contained in AA (Iraq) v. SSHD.

The Upper Tribunal reiterated the importance of obtaining an Iraqi Civil Status Identity Document (CSID) for all returnees and how the possibility to replace or obtain a CSID must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For instance, it noted that a woman without a male relative to assist with the process of re-documentation would face very significant obstacles, as could individuals whose relevant civil registry office is in an area held, or formerly held, by the Islamic State.

The Tribunal also noted, as had already been found by the Secretary of State in the Home Office’s Country Policy and Information Note on Iraq: Return/Internal Relocation, that returnees who were not in possession of a CSID, and who were unable to obtain one, would face a real risk of destitution in all parts of Iraq such that Article 3 ECHR would be engaged. Similarly, an Iraqi returnee of Kurdish origin without a CSID would face considerable difficulty in the journey from Baghdad to the Iraqi Kurdish Region. Once inside that region, consideration have to be made about the family network available to the returnee and, in the lack of such assistance, of whether the returnee would have access in other shelter arrangements to basic necessities such as food, clean water and clothing.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.



Country of origin information
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Internal protection