Iraq hosts Syrian, Iranian, and Palestinian refugees. In addition to these foreign refugees, some 1.2 million Iraqis have become internally displaced as a result of civil sectarian strife within Iraq itself. Dealing with the many problems associated with this situation presents serious difficulties for the Iraqi government.

While Iraq is not a party to the Refugee Convention, the Iraqi government has issued two legislative instruments related to refugees in Iraq. Law 21-2010 establishes the Ministry of Migration and Displacement, which provides assistance and services to both internally displaced persons and foreign refugees inside Iraq. Second, the Political Refugee Law of 1971 addresses political refugees only, and establishes benefits such as the right to work and the same health and education services as Iraqis. However, it does not apply to refugees who have fled their countries for other reasons.

To facilitate the voluntary return of internally displaced persons to their places of origin, the Iraqi Council of Ministers issued Decree 262 of 2008, which authorizes the Ministry of Displacement and Migration to provide monetary awards to Iraqis who were forced to leave their homes because of sectarian violence.
With respect to benefits offered to foreign refugees, Ministerial Resolution 202-2001 provides Palestinian refugees with all the benefits to which Iraqi nationals are entitled. Following the Syrian Crisis in 2011, authorities in the Kurdish region of Iraq granted Syrian refugees the right to enroll in public schools and work in the region

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