Skip to main content

Last updated: June 2022

The criterion of safety would be satisfied where the following two aspects have been established:

Figure 13. IPA: Assessment of the safety requirement.



5.2.1 Absence of the initial persecution or serious harm

When examining the element ‘absence of persecution or serious harm’, the decision-maker should refer to chapters 1 to 4 of this document.

When assessing the requirement of safety with regard to the applicability of IPA in individual cases of applicants from Iraq, the following elements should be taken into account:

  • general security situation in relation to indiscriminate violence 

    The general security situation in Baghdad, Basrah or Sulaymaniyah should be assessed in accordance with the analysis under the section on Article 15(c) QD. In this regard, it has been concluded that in the governorates of Basrah and of Sulaymaniyah, there is, in general, no real risk for a civilian to be personally affected within the meaning of Article 15(c) QD. For the governorate of Baghdad, it has been concluded indiscriminate violence is taking place, however not at a high level.> 

    It can be concluded that the general security situation in the cities of Basrah, Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah does not preclude an IPA to be applied to those cities and that a careful examination of the safety requirement with regard to IPA should take place, particularly when assessing the availability of IPA to Bagdad.

  • actors of persecution or serious harm and their reach

    In case where the person fears persecution or serious harm by State actors, there is a presumption that IPA would not be available (e.g. persons perceived to be associated with ISIL). In specific cases, where the reach of a certain State actor is clearly limited to a particular geographical area (e.g. a PMF, the KRG, the Peshmerga), the criterion of safety may be satisfied with regard to other parts of Iraq. 

    With regard to persecution or serious harm by ISIL, it should be noted that the operational capacity of the armed group has decreased, however, it is still active in certain regions. 

    In some cases, where the applicant faces persecution or serious harm for reasons related to the prevalent tribal and social norms in Iraq and the actor of persecution or serious harm is Iraqi society at large (e.g. LGBTIQ persons, certain ethno-religious minorities), IPA would in general not be considered safe. 

    For certain particularly vulnerable individuals, such as women and children, if the actor of persecution or serious harm is the (extended) family, tribe or community (e.g. fasliya marriage, FGM), taking into account the reach of these actors and the lack of State protection, IPA would in general not meet the requirement of safety. 

    It should be underlined that it cannot be reasonably expected that the applicant abstains from practices fundamental to his or her identity, such as those related to their religion or sexual orientation, in order to avoid the risk of persecution or serious harm.[46] 

    See the section 1. Actors of persecution or serious harm.

  • whether the profile of the applicant is considered a priority target and/or a threat by the actor of persecution or serious harm 

    The profile of the applicant could make him or her a priority target, increasing the likelihood that the actor of persecution or serious harm would attempt to trace the applicant in the potential IPA location.

  • other risk-enhancing circumstances


The information under the section 2. Refugee status should be used to assist in this assessment.


[46] CJEU, X, Y and Z, paras. 70-76; CJEU, Y and Z, para. 80.

5.2.2 Availability of protection against persecution or serious harm

Alternatively, it may be determined that the requirement of safety is satisfied if the applicant would have access to protection against persecution or serious harm, as defined in Article 7 QD, in the area where IPA is considered. In the case of persecution by the State, a presumption of non-availability of State protection applies.

 The requirement of safety may be satisfied in the cities of Baghdad, Basrah and Sulaymaniyah, depending on the profile and the individual circumstances of the applicant.