Iraqi migrants find different route to Europe

Reports‌‌ 12:28 PM - 2021-07-18


Since 2017, Iraq has been offering direct flights to Belarus, But in May, The First Flight of Fly Baghdad landed at Minsk airport, the capital of Belarus.


Ary Jalal, President of the Summit Foundation for Refugees and Displaced Affairs, stated: "This migration flow that started through Belarus and Lithuania is the latest migration route. Migrants think it is a safer way and has a higher possibility to reach European countries, which is not true."


Recently, The Kurdistan Region and Iraq suffer from migration flow due to the lack of job opportunities and economic crisis. Smugglers in the region have started to encourage the youth to try to reach Belarus and Lithuania through travel agencies. The Smugglers told the migrants that after reaching Belarus, they will be transported to other European countries through the airport, and they demand $10.000-$17.000 per person.


They told migrants that entering Europe via Belarus was legal since Iraqi and Belarusian travel agencies issue tourist visas. They also claimed that they had representatives in all of the largest cities of Iraqi Kurdistan, and were in contact with tourism agencies in Baghdad.


The Smugglers are misleading the migrants because when they reach Lithuania, they get arrested and sent to detentions centers. Most of them will stay there for at least 6 months, and after that, they have a higher possibility to get deported to their countries. 


On the 26th of May, the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, said that his country would no longer prevent migrants from crossing its western border into the EU. Due to the issues between Lithuania and Belarus, Lithuania has started building a wire fence near the southern city of Druskininkai to manage the inflow of illegal migrants entering the country from Belarus. A total of 512 migrants have been detained in Druskininkai so far this year.


"Currently, Lithuania plans to create a barrier on the Belarus border to stem the migrant flow and will spend €41m on the border fence in addition to security services to prevent illegal migration," Ary Jalal stated. 


Migrants complain about their situation in the detention centers and say that they feel like imprisons inside the centers.



Besha Jawhar







see more

Most read