February 9, 2016

Iraqi refugees abandon Europe for home

Thousands are giving up on their European dream.

On Tuesday, February 9 at 19:30 GMT:

After making long and dangerous journeys from the Middle East to Europe, an increasing number of Iraqi refugees have been returning to their country. The International Organization of Migration said it helped 3,500 Iraqis from 14 European countries go home last year. In Belgium, for instance, more than a quarter of all those who chose to leave in 2015 are Iraqi. Their average stay was just four months. In Finland, nearly 70 percent of Iraqis who filed for asylum have also abandoned their claims.

The registered number of returning refugees does not include those who travel back on their own. Many have also been asking Iraqi embassies across Europe to help with their return. The Iraqi government recently sent a delegation to Europe to coordinate the return of those who do not wish to stay. Many of the returnees are financially troubled, having sold their belongings to pay for the journey across the Mediterranean. 

So why are so many Iraqis abandoning life in Europe and returning home? Join our conversation at 19:30 GMT. 

Joining this conversation:

Namo Abdulla @namo_abdulla
Washington Bureau Chief, Rudaw News

Qutaiba Alibadi
Iraqi returnee from Europe

Thomas Weiss @IOMIraq
Chief of Mission, International Organization of Migration Iraq

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