This report is based primarily on qualitative research on the different return and reintegration trajectories of Iraqis coming back to their country after a period of time in Syria, including in Al Hol Camp. The research was conducted from November 2023 to February 2024 in Ninewa and Anbar provinces and included interviews and focus groups with residents of the Jeddah 1 Rehabilitation Centre (J-1) in Ninewa, where formal returnees from Al Hol spend time before they return to their area of origin. The research team also interviewed service providers in the Centre.

In areas that have received large numbers of formal and informal returns, specifically Mosul (Ninewa) and Rummanah, Qaim, Haditha, Ana, and Rawa (Anbar), interviews and focus groups were conducted with formal and informal returnees, community leaders, and community members.

This report examines the trajectories of informal returnees, the barriers they face, and how their reintegration progress may differ from those Iraqis who formally are returning through the Government of Iraq-led process and the wider IDP returnee population.


Citation: Schadi Semnani, Jente Althuis, Muqadas Samarrai, Melisande Genat, Noor Mohammed, and Siobhan O’Neil, "Shadow Crossings: Informal Returnees from Al Hol,” Findings Report 35, UNIDIR, Geneva, 2024.