Five years after the declared end of the conflict with the Islamic State (IS), Iraq's recovery remains fragile as many communities remain in need of humanitarian assistance.
Among those most at risk of exclusion are the one million internally displaced and returnee Iraqis that lack civil documentation, such as core identity documents and birth, marriage and death certificates. Without key documents, displacement-affected populations can lack legal identity or status and find themselves excluded from key services and facing critical protection risks.
Life in the Margins builds on the 2019 research report Paperless People of Post-Conflict Iraq to further explore the challenges faced by displacement-affected populations who are missing civil documentation, and how these have evolved in the recent past.
While the number of Iraqis missing documentation has reduced as a result of concerted interventions by a range of actors, broader systematic and policy-level barriers remain.
This is particularly true for populations with perceived affiliation with IS, for whom the process of securing documentation has only become more challenging in recent years. Women and female-headed households and internally displaced people (IDPs) unable to access Civil Affairs Directorates also face heightened challenges.
The report is informed by the programmatic experience of seven aid groups, which include NRC, DRC, IRC, and others, across nine governorates in Federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).