By Ezidi 24
Members of the Dutch government confirmed on Monday that the deportation of Yazidis to Kurdistan is to be halted
Following outcry from international organisations and Yazidi activists, the measure was confirmed by Ankie Broekers-Knol, the State Secretary for Security and Justice, in a response to questions from Dutch MPs.
Yazidis are also to be given ‘vulnerable minority’ status, as they are now recognised as not ordinarily resident in the Kurdistan region. However, this is not said to guarantee that their asylum claims will be accepted. In a 4-page document published on Wednesday , Broekers-Knol also states that ‘although the situation in some refugee camps in the Kurdish Autonomous Region is not optimal, it cannot be generally said that the reception is insufficient’.
The Dutch Imigration Authority was subject to global criticism in April following the decision to deport survivors of the genocide, citing sufficient food and shelter in Kurdish camps as an indicator of their safety in Kurdistan. Such claims were lambasted by both UNHCR and Yazidi civil society organisations, with Pari Ibhraim of the Yazidi Foundation stating ‘it is absolutely inaccurate to claim that Yezidis can safely return to Sinjar or elsewhere in Iraq at the moment’.
Growing numbers of Yazidis in Europe are facing deportation. In 2018, only 60% of Yazidi asylum applications were approved, compared to 97% in 2015. As the Yazidi genocide enters its fifth year, international support for its survivors is waning.