Iraq - Lack of protection for migrant workers and third party nationals (2012)

Although the 2005 Iraqi constitution bans human trafficking, Iraq has no anti-trafficking law that prosecutes offenders. Since 2008, an inter-ministerial task force has been negotiating a draft law for parliamentary approval but no law has been approved. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) issued a report stating alarm at the growing number of foreign migrant workers seeking humanitarian aid and protection after being abandoned by private companies in Baghdad. They estimate that many if not most of the tens of thousands of migrants are undocumented through no fault of their own and are forced to live in unsanitary conditions. As they lack funds to enable them to return to their countries of origin they are vulnerable to exploitation. The organisation is appealing to the government to pressure private companies to take care of their foreign labourers and to introduce a comprehensive labour migration policy. It is also calling for the draft anti-trafficking law IOM has helped to draft to be passed by parliament as soon as possible.

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