Human Rights Watch Highlights Reparations as Key for Return of Thousands of Displaced Yazidis

May 9, 2023

Photo: A boy walks on a road at the Mamrashan camp for civilians displaced by war, located a half hour’s drive from Dohuk city in Iraq, on January 14, 2017. © 2017 Alice Martins/AP Photo

The recent Human Rights Watch report on Iraq titled “Compensation for ISIS Victims Too Little, Too Late” reviews efforts of the Iraqi Government to provide reparations for survivors of ISIS atrocities in Iraq, particularly for those from Sinjar district. It looks at Law No. 20 of 2009 and Yazidi Survivors Law (YSL) of 2021 through which ISIS survivors can access compensation and other forms of reparations. The report shows that, despite of certain progress being made concerning implementation, many survivors and their families continue to suffer from the consequences of ISIS brutality, with limited access to justice and reparations. HRW calls Iraqi authorities to:

  • Strengthen capacity of institutions involved in the compensation process,
  • Ensure adequate funding,
  • Go beyond monetary compensation to ensure restitution, rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as symbolic reparations and
  • Remove the requirement for survivors to file a criminal complaint to be eligible to access reparations under the YSL.

Survivors of ISIS atrocities are RIGHT HOLDERS. It’s time for the Iraqi government to take immediate action to ensure that survivors realize their RIGHT TO REPARATIONS.

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