A powerful message from Yazidi female survivor to UNITED

February 17, 2022

Dear all, good afternoon to you.

First of all, I would like to thank UNITAD, as a survivor, for providing me with this opportunity. Support for Survivors should be, in my view, diverse and I am happy to be able to speak today and inform you about My needs as well as that of other survivors.

Today on behalf of myself and the members of the C4JR Survivors Council, I would like to share with you Our perspective as survivors of ISIL violence.

I will start with the Yazidi Survivors Law. When this law was enacted, it had a great positive impact that Was reflected on all survivors from all different components affected by ISIL violence. It has laid the Foundation to heal the wounds of the past and achieve justice. It gave us hope that survivors and all Those affected can move forward to a better future.

As survivors, we placed great hopes on this law and we wished a secure future in which we would be able To live in dignity far from the harsh realities of a camp life.

Almost a year has passed since the enactment of this law, and we are still waiting to see at least the first Steps towards implementation. Establishment of the Directorate for Survivors Affairs is a good thing, but It is not enough. We are waiting for the Directorate to do more and start implementing the law.

While I know that implementation of such a law may take some time, in a situation of daily struggle with Trauma and making ends meet under precarious living conditions of an IDP camp, minutes and hours feel like years.

We face challenges daily in meeting our most basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing. Experiencing Firsthand the cold of winter and the heat of summer is not easy for anyone, let alone to survivors of ISIL atrocities.

Due to these realities, tragedies in IDP camps among survivors, their families and community are multiplying. We don’t accept to end like this, as we wait to realize our human right to reparations.

I want to highlight and commend the work of civil society organizations that over the past years showed Solidarity, actively supported and are still supporting the survivors. Especially the initiative to form an Alliance of organizations explicitly focusing on supporting us, the survivors, to realize our right to Reparations: the C4JR. Each one of these organizations has a specific vision and perhaps different path, But regardless of that, all of these organizations speak with one voice to advocate for and support Implementation of the YSL. They are also supporting survivors in raising their voice, building their Capacities and responding to their demands and recommendations.

Therefore, as survivors, we hope that the voice of this coalition will be heard more and also be considered With the recommendations that were made for the benefit of the survivors.

I ask all decision-makers including Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, civil society Organizations and UNITAD to respond to our calls and do what they can to ensure swift delivery of Benefits under the YSL.

While Yazidi Survivors Law, if properly implemented, can help us secure livelihoods, improve our mental Health, move into a house we can call our own, continue education or get employment, only Accountability can give us peace of mind. I hope therefore that evidence collected by UNITAD will be put To proper use. While it is a blessing to see that German court found that what happened to Yazidis Amounts to Genocide, I would like to see a court in Iraq arrive at the same conclusion after detailing Particular crimes against Yazidis and other minorities so that those responsible are adequately punished.

Finally and most importantly I use this opportunity to call all those that may help to intensify search and Rescue efforts of our missing mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. We cannot heal without being Reunited with them. Our hearts and minds are with them always.

Thank you

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