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Executive Summary for July 20th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including preparation for a Mosul refugee exodus, calls for Ivorian refugees to go home and legal action against a U.S. school district for denying education to refugees.

Published on July 20, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

U.N. Braces for Mosul Worst-Case Scenario

The United Nations is preparing for the largest humanitarian relief operation this year in Mosul.

As Iraqi government forces ready themselves to attempt to retake the city from the so-called Islamic State, high-level meetings in Washington this week look to address the expected humanitarian fallout.

In a worst-case scenario estimate, the battle for Mosul could see more than 1 million people displaced from the city and another 830,000 from a populated corridor to its south. This would add to the existing 3.5 million Iraqis forced to flee their homes by the 2014 ISIS campaign and Iraqi counteroffensives backed by the U.S.

ISIL [ISIS] will lose regardless of who goes in,” a Kurdish security source told Reuters. “What’s important isn’t a military defeat; what’s important is the Iraqi government’s ability to embrace post-ISIL management issues, one of which is the Sunni grievances in and around Mosul. They’ve got to address that before the offensive.”

The U.N. says it expects a flood of refugees and needs an immediate $280 million to begin pre-positioning stockpiles of tents and mobile health clinics.

Ivorian Refugees Need to Return Home as Donors Look to Move On

It’s time for Ivorian refugees to go home, says the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR). Some 40,000 refugees have so far resisted returning to the country where a five-month civil war ended in 2011.

A quarter of a million people have returned but some holdouts are being urged to make the move. The UNHCR has said that it aims to wind up its repatriation operations this year and has cut rations in half at feeding centers for refugees.

“It is time for people to go home, restart their lives, and contribute to the development of their country,” said Liz Ahua of the UNHCR.

The biggest concern among returnees is documentation; they fear being left undocumented and stateless. An estimated 700,000 people in Ivory Coast, which is a major cocoa producer, have no papers or legal status.

Half of the remaining Ivorian refugees in West Africa reside in Liberia, one-quarter live in Ghana, while the rest are dotted across Guinea, Togo and Mali, according to the UNHCR.

U.S. School District Sued for Denying Places to Refugees

U.S. civil rights lawyers are suing a school district for denying refugee students access to standard high schools.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said a Pennsylvania school district has steered at least 30 students to a disciplinary high school run by a private contractor offering an inferior education.

The lawsuit names plaintiffs from Myanmar and Sudan among 30 refugees aged between 17 and 21. Lancaster is the third such district to face a similar suit in recent years.

“Preventing them from learning English and going to school and mingling with American students is preventing them from being able to successfully integrate into our society,” Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU in Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press.

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