​​More than “Ink on Paper”: Taking Stock Three Years After the Adoption of the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law

March 1, 2024

ERBIL/BERLIN/LONDON — March 1, 2024, marks three years since Iraq’s parliament passed the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law (YSL). On the third anniversary, the Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR) is proud to share our comprehensive report evaluating the current stage of implementation of reparation measures promised in the YSL, as well as broader developments, More than “Ink on Paper”: Taking Stock Three Years After the Adoption of the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law.

*Download the report in English here. Download the report in Arabic here.*

The YSL mandates a number of critical reparations for survivors of ISIL crimes, including monthly compensation payments; medical and psychological care; the provision of land or a housing unit; educational opportunities; and a quota in public sector employment. It also officially recognizes that ISIL committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Yazidi, Christian, Turkmen, and Shabak components, and mandates memorialization, the search for those still in captivity, exhumation of mass graves–along with the identification and return of remains to families–and calls on Iraqi institutions to ensure that perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity are held accountable.

Authored by C4JR consultant Mairéad Smith, with thanks to Kristin Perry, Hajar Abbas, Sandra Orlovic, Khalid Salih, and Dr. Bojan Gavrilovic for their input, the report provides an overview of YSL implementation developments and the work of the General Directorate for Survivors’ Affairs (GDSA) in implementing the YSL, including the latest information on the verification and appeals process, application statistics, and administrative capacity of the GDSA, highlighting the prevailing challenges that hinder the delivery of benefits in a trauma-informed and survivor-centered manner.

*Download the report in English as an E-Reader here!*

The report also details the accessibility and overall survivor-centeredness of the YSL application mechanism from the perspective of survivors, drawing on C4JR’s YSL Application Monitoring Questionnaire conducted in Autumn 2023, with thanks to Güley Bor, Dr. Güneş Daşlı, and implementing partners–Free Yezidi Foundation, Baghdad Women’s Association, Dialogues of Culture, and Justice for Minority Rights.

Taking a broader look at developments, including criminal justice and international advocacy efforts and collaboration, the report concludes with a series of recommendations intended to ensure that survivors of ISIL atrocities can fully realize their right to reparation.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the beginning of ISIL violence in Iraq, many of ISIL’s victims continue to remain in precarious living conditions, and face marginalization and exclusion from decision-making. It remains as pressing as ever to take stock of the efforts made, challenges that remain, and areas for improvement in implementing the YSL to ensure the full delivery of the benefits the law promises.

C4JR’s first annual report, available to read here, focused on the development of the YSL legislation and the associated efforts of stakeholders, including survivors, civil society organizations (CSOs), and international organizations.

For more information, contact: Alannah Travers: [email protected], or Saber Saeed: [email protected].

Related posts

Fifth C4JR YSL Newsletter 

Fifth C4JR YSL Newsletter 

The Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), with the support of IOM Iraq, is publishing regular newsletters on the Yazidi Survivors Law (YSL) in three languages. Check out the fifth newsletter now, in English, Arabic, and Kurdish...

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