Urgent measures ‘to secure a safe future’ for the Yazidi community in Iraq are proposed in a new policy document, ’10 steps to ensure Justice, Reparations,Recovery and Return for the Yazidis’, published by Yazda, a global organisation to support the Yazidi and other ethno-religious minorities after the ISIS genocide of 2014.
Among the 10 recommendations in the Report are:
Formal recognition by the UN and Iraqi government of the systematic and premeditated attempt by ISIS to destroy the Yazidis as a group.
Immediate action from Kurdish and Iraqi authorities and the international community to support and house over 300,000 internally displaced Yazidis still living in informal camps, many on mountainsides.
Speedy resolution of talks between the central Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments to address administration and security in the Sinjar region, in coordination with the Yazidi community, to tackle the continued threats from ISIS.
Full recognition of women as a part of Iraqi national reconciliation, including removal of gender based laws permitting only male members of a family to access many rights and benefits.
Reform of laws requiring any child with a missing father to be automatically registered as a Muslim.
The report warns that ongoing attempts and attacks by ISIS to re-infiltrate and cause serious harm, continued delays in re-establishing local government structures and multiple security players in the region mean the future of the Yazidi community remains under critical threat of further genocide.
It adds that no meaningful actions have been taken place to resolve political and security issues in Sinjar, which prevents Yazidis from safely return to their homeland. To date, less than 25% of the Sinjar population have returned home, the remaining 300,000 continue to suffer under extreme conditions in internally displaced persons camps inside Iraq. Nearly 2,700 Yazidis, mostly women and children, remain missing or in captivity.
“This situation is unstable and risky, which will have disastrous effect if not addressed with wisdom and decisiveness” Genocide survivor, Hala Safil, said in reference to Yazda’s policy paper published today. Ms. Safil urged immediate action to ensure safety of her community after a long history of persecution.
Yazda calls on the Iraqi government to put the needs of people first in the aftermath of the Yazidi genocide. The continued neglect and lack of response by the Iraqi government has caused inexcusable delay in rebuilding destroyed areas and establishing safety and basic economy for a sustainable return.
Immediate action is needed to prevent a future genocide”, Yazda Executive Director, Murad Ismael, says.
These recommendations come as an outcome of the Commemoration Conference held in Baghdad on August 1, 2019 on the 5th Anniversary of the Yazidi Genocide, attended by over 200 government and diplomatic corps dignitaries, religious and community leaders, activists from civil society organizations, Yazidi survivors and supporters of the Yazidi cause.