In order to prepare the cadres and volunteers of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society to assist and support asylum seekers returning to Iraq, the workshop on return and reintegration that it had jointly organized with the Swedish Red Cross came to an end in Baghdad. However, (32) coordinators of psychological support, restoring family links and the disaster department participated in (8) provinces.
“The workshop’s goal is to strengthen the relationship between the Swedish Red Cross and the Iraqi Red Crescent to provide the optimum support and assistance to persons returning from Sweden to Iraq,” said Mikala Heiken, Director of the Swedish Red Cross’ Return Project.
She also continued that the rejected asylum seekers were assisted in the pre-departure stage to Iraq and through the (ETTC) program for reintegration services and in cooperation with the IRCS, we will be able to reintegrate them into community by providing financial grants and enhancing their decent livelihoods, as well as providing them with psychosocial support”.
On the other side, Mrs.Batool Muhammad, the director of the programs department at the IRCS, explained “This program includes several axes, including – developing methods and building capacities, exchanging knowledge and experiences on how to provide material assistance and psychosocial support, as support for returnees is based on information about the country of origin and knowledge of needs”. She added that the various stages of the reintegration process were discussed, adding to providing legal assistance to rejected asylum seekers and returnees to Iraq.”
Furthermore, Mr. Mustafa Muhammad, the coordinator of the family restoration links in Najaf branch, and one of the participants in the workshop “This program has tangible results on the ground, as it was practically applied by helping a number of families returning from Sweden to Najaf governorate, by providing financial grants and improving their financial status has also been contributed to the reintegration of these families into the local community by providing them with psychosocial support, also helping them to obtain official documents after losing them.
Finally, It is worth mentioning that in 2021 there were (26,000) asylum requests from Iraqi nationals in the European Union, and Iraqis are the largest group of rejected asylum seekers in Sweden during 2022, as only 16% of them were granted a positive asylum decision.