"While humanitarian agencies have put in place preparedness measures ahead of the offensive … arrangements for safe exit in dignity have not been given enough attention… All personnel engaged in military operations must comply with applicable standards in this regard," Chaloka Beyani, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, said in a statement.
Beyani stressed that screening procedures must not prevent their escape, despite fears that IS militants could mix up with the crowds. People must also be given access to food, water and medical care.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced on Monday the start of a long-awaited operation to retake the key northern city from Daesh militants with air support from the US-led international coalition. The Pentagon warned that jihadists could use trapped civilians as human shields.