Migration Flows from Iraq to Europe: Reasons Behind Migration

In 2015, over one million migrants reached European shores after long, complicated and risky journeys. Iraqis represented the third largest group of migrants, with nearly 85,000 arriving to Greece by sea in the second half of 2015 alone.

IOM Iraq, as part of the larger IOM response to this unprecedented crisis, conducted research funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to explore the trends and causes of Iraqi migration to Europe.

The report, “Migration Flows from Iraq to Europe: Reasons Behind Migration” consists of a qualitative research carried out through focus groups discussions with returnees from Europe who were willing to share their experience.

One of the report’s key findings is the complexity of factors that pushed or pulled Iraqis to leave their country. Additionally, security concerns were related to multiple factors, the current crisis being only one of them. Through this exploratory study, IOM shares insights from the perspective of a sending country, and endeavors to provide inputs for an in-country, evidence-based response, and for further research on this layered subject.

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