C4JR Asks Iraqi Officials to Put the Well-being of Survivors First

April 6, 2023

The Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR) urges the Committee responsible for determining claims submitted under Iraq’s reparation program for ISIL survivors (Yazidi Survivors Law) to stop placing survivors´ well-being at risk through introducing extra-legal evidentiary requirements to access benefits. Namely, survivors are being asked to undergo onerous process of procuring and submitting official investigation documents together with their YSL application which may lead to their re-traumatization. In addition, a number of eligible survivors are currently residing outside of Iraq (making the process of procuring documents even more prohibitive), while Yazidi children abducted by ISIL risk self-incrimination. Applications from survivors who do not submit investigation documents will be rejected, regardless of the plethora of pre-existing evidence collected by official bodies and NGOs, as well as the possibility for the Committee to interview survivors itself.

While efforts of state officials to prevent verification of false claims are justified and necessary, burden of proof in such cases should lie with the authorities rather than survivors. In the words of one affected survivor: “No-one will declare to be survivor of ISIL if they are not. In reality, no-one will take that risk”.

Look at the story of the survivor here:

ISIL Survivors speak about their experience

Read the C4JR statement here

and in Arabic here.

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