Actors of protection

AuthorEuropean Asylum Support Office (EU body or agency)
Guidance note | Iraq
January 2021
Actors of protection
Article 7 QD stipulates that protection can only be provided by:
The Iraqi State
The presence and control of the Iraqi State have become stronger since the defeat of ISIL. It can be
concluded that the State may, depending on the individual circumsta nces of the case, be considered
able and willing to provide protection that meets the requirements of Article 7 QD in Baghdad and
southern Iraq. In most other parts of northern and central Ir aq, including the disputed territories,
the capacity of the State is limited and the criteria under Article 7 QD would generally not be met.
When assessing the availability of State protection, individual circumstances, such as ethnicity,
home region, gender, social status, wealth, personal connections, actor of persecution and type of
human rights violation must be taken into account. The Iraqi State is in general considered able and
willing to provide protection that meets the requirements of Article 7 QD for Shia Arabs in Baghdad
and southern Iraq. This is without prejudice to the assessment in cases where State protection is
considered not available due to individual circumstances. With regard to Sunni Arabs, the availability
of state protection is considered limited, but may in individual cases be available. State protection is
generally not considered available for members of minority religions and ethnicities, Palestinians,
LGBTIQ persons and victims of domestic or honour-related violence, and gender-based violence,
including harmful traditional practices, such as forced and child marriage and FGM/C.
It should be noted that if the actor of persecution is a PMU, and the gro up in question is considered
a State actor, effective protection is presumed not to be available in accordance with Recital 27 QD.
a. the State;b. parties or organisationscontrolling the State
or a substantial part of the territory of the State;
provided they are willing and able to offe r protection, which must be:
effective and of a non-temporary nature.
Such protection is generally provided when the actors mentioned take reasonable steps to
prevent the persecution or suffering of serious harm, inter alia, by operating an effective legal
system for the detection, prosecution and punishment of acts constituting persecution or
serious harm,
and when the applicant has access to such protection.

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