Hundreds to thousands of children born under ISIL rule or to foreign fathers were not registered at birth and lack civil documentation. Children born to foreign fighters and children whose paternity cannot be confirmed, such as those who were born under ISIL and lack documentation or who have ISIL-issued documentation, children born to women whose husbands are dead or missing, face the risk of growing up without civil identification or being stateless, because conferring nationality requires a birth certificate. Without access to documentation, children are deprived of healthcare, social welfare programs and education. These children also face stigmatisation.
Concerning the children that were born of sexual violence, UNICEF states that although there is a legal framework in place to allow these children to obtain identity documents, ‘in practice obtaining such documents is exceptionally difficult and requires women to publicly expose what they have survived – experiences that their families, culture, tribe and religion consider to be deeply shameful’.
The individual assessment of whether or not the treatment of individuals under this profile could amount to persecution should take into account the severity and/or repetitiveness of the acts. Often, they occur as an accumulation of various measures and may reach the level of persecution.
Not all children under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether or not there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-enhancing circumstances, such as: single or widow mother and/or a foreign, dead or missing father, etc.
Nexus to a reason for persecution
Available information indicates that persecution of this profile may be for reasons of membership of a particular social group, based on their common background which cannot be changed; and due to their distinct identity in the context of Iraq in relation to their stigmatisation by the surrounding society.
See other topics concerning children:
2.17.7. Children born under ISIL who lack civil documentation