Roma in Iraq and Syria: On the Margins of IDP Protection

Research output: Working paper


Much research has been conducted on minority groups within the IDP / refugee arena, with such research often advocating for greater protection and support for these groups. It should be observed, however, that there is an academic tendency to homogenise minority groups, conflating minority status with marginalisation. Such interlinkage, however, is not always the case, nor is minority status uniformly experienced by all minority IDPs. It should therefore be recognised that different minority groups will have different experiences of social relations, conflict dynamics and humanitarian protection and assistance.

This exploratory paper examines the relationship between humanitarian protection and a severely marginalised group of IDPs – the Roma of the Middle East – specifically of Iraq and Syria. Through preliminary case studies of Roma IDPs in these countries, it illustrates how IDP protection may be reinforcing forces of marginalisation or omitting the Roma from humanitarian provision entirely. This article will ultimately argue that recognition of experiences of marginalisation within the IDP population is just as important as a broader acknowledgement of minority status. It therefore advocates for increased targeted research, particularly with Roma IDPs, through earmarked funding, combined with subsequent targeted programming, due to the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that such marginalisation presents when combined with displacement.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherResearching Internal Displacement
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021


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