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Last updated: January 2021

According to Article 8 QD, IPA can only apply if the applicant ‘can reasonably be expected to settle’ in the proposed area of internal protection.

General situation

The following elements should be examined based on available country of origin information:
the situation with regard to food security;
the availability of basic infrastructure and services, such as:
shelter and housing;
basic healthcare;
hygiene, including water and sanitation;
the availability of basic subsistence that ensures access to food, hygiene and shelter, such as through employment, existing financial means, support by a network or humanitarian aid.

The general situation in the area in consideration should be examined in light of the criteria described above, and not in comparison with standards in Europe or other areas in the country of origin.

Based on the available COI, it is found that the general circumstances prevailing in Baghdad, Erbil and Basrah, assessed in relation to the factors above, do not preclude the reasonableness to settle in the cities, however, a careful examination should take place, particularly when assessing the availability of IPA to Basrah. The assessment should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant.

Individual circumstances

In addition to the general situation in the area of potential IPA, the assessment whether it is reasonable for the applicant to settle in that part of the country should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant, such as:
ethno-religious and linguistic background
civil documentation
support network
family status
state of health
professional and educational background and financial means

The individual considerations could relate to certain vulnerabilities of the applicant as well as to available coping mechanisms, which would have an impact when determining to what extent it would be reasonable for the applicant to settle in a particular area. It should be noted that these factors are not absolute, and they would often intersect in the case of the particular applicant, leading to different conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA. 

Conclusions on reasonableness

The general conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA for particular profiles of applicants are based on an assessment of the general situation in cities of Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil, and the individual circumstances of such applicants.

Taking into account the ethno-religious background of the applicant, it could be substantiated that IPA in the cities of Baghdad, Basrah, Erbil would be reasonable for single able-bodied men and married couples without children, who have identification documents and have no additional vulnerabilities, including when they do not have a support network. In the case of families with children, internal protection alternative may be reasonable, including without a support network, where the best interests of the child have been duly assessed.

Although the situation related to settling in the three cities entails certain hardships, it can still be concluded that such applicants would be able to ensure their basic subsistence, housing, shelter and hygiene, and access to basic healthcare.

In order to ensure their basic needs, other profiles of applicants would in general need a support network in the area of potential IPA. However, additional individual circumstances may be relevant to take into account when assessing the reasonableness of IPA.

It should be highlighted that these conclusions are without prejudice to the criteria of safety, travel and admittance and that the individual circumstances in the case at hand should be fully examined.