On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR) calls the Iraqi Government to remain committed to repairing the harm inflicted upon survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in Iraq.
War in Ukraine has shown the world once again that CRSV remains to be an appalling accompaniment of armed conflict — but one that can be avoided.
It is therefore of crucial importance not only to prioritize prevention by addressing the underlying causes and drivers of sexual violence but also to ensure that justice and reparations reach survivors without undue delay.
To that end, C4JR reiterates recent recommendations of the Human Rights Committee and the Committee Against Torture to Iraq, namely, to:
- investigate and prosecute sexual offenses committed during the ISIL conflict in Iraq and ensure perpetrators are punished;
- ensure that victims are able to effectively and expeditiously claim and receive all relevant forms of redress;
- guarantee the victims’ right to participate in criminal proceedings effectively, accompanied by safeguards to avoid stigmatization, hence re-traumatization and ensuring that specialized rehabilitation services are promptly made available to all survivors;
This would entail establishing a survivor-friendly criminal accountability mechanism with jurisdiction over international crimes, including but not limited to CRSV, and fast-tracking implementation of the Yazidi Survivors Law (YSL). This groundbreaking law is also one of the very few examples of states taking deliberate action to specifically address the rights and needs of CRSV survivors. It mandates a number of critical reparations for survivors from the Yezidi, Christian, Turkmen, and Shabak communities, including financial support, medical and psychological care, the provision of land, housing, and education, and a quota in public sector employment.
Finally, C4JR encourages the Iraqi authorities to support international efforts aimed at preventing, ending, and ensuring accountability for CRSV committed in all parts of the world.