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Additional Effort Needed to Pass the Yazidi Women Survivors Law in the Iraqi Parliament

January 28, 2021

On January 27 2021 members of the Iraqi parliament failed to vote on the Yazidi Women Survivors Law. This law, based on the initial bill submitted by the Iraqi presidency in March 2019, is the product of an intense discussion that took place in the second half of 2020.

Iraqi civil society, facilitated by the Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), took the lead in reviving the public debate on reparations for survivors of the Da’esh/ISIS conflict in Iraq and improving the initial bill through an intensive advocacy campaign.

By enacting this law Iraqi authorities would fulfill their obligations specified in the Joint Communiqué between the Republic of Iraq and the United Nations on the Prevention and Response to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (2016). It would also set an example for other-post conflict states on how to recognize, honour and repair harm done to the survivors of genocide and other mass atrocity crimes. Most importantly, this bill would not only allow survivors to lead a dignified life in their homeland, but also bring closer Iraqi society as a whole.

The deteriorating mental health crisis facing survivor communities, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a recent increase in suicides, further underlining the need for immediate action to support the most vulnerable.

C4JR therefore respectfully encourages Iraqi parliamentarians across the political spectrum to show leadership and uphold their legal and moral obligations by enacting the Yazidi Women Survivors Law.

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