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Helping survivors of ISIS conflict in Iraq realize their right to reparations

Hope for Survivors of Wartime Sexual Violence in Iraq #C4JR21

Published:June 18, 2021

C4JR Media Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict:

Hope for Survivors of Wartime Sexual Violence in Iraq #C4JR21

On March 1st, 2021, the Iraqi Council of Representatives passed the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law (YSL). This law will deliver long-awaited relief to Yazidi women – survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) committed by the self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Most importantly, by enacting the YSL Iraq has set a milestone in the Arab world and beyond on redressing CRSV survivors in line with international standards. The Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), an alliance of 32 Iraqi non-governmental organizations (NGOs) calling for comprehensive reparations for civilian victims of atrocity crimes perpetrated during the ISIL conflict in Iraq, took the lead in promoting survivor-friendly solutions in implementing the YSL. Moreover, it made a set of recommendations to ensure that a survivor centered approach is front and center in all implementation efforts. This would entail abiding by the principle of do no harm, upholding confidentiality of survivors, and prioritizing their safety, well-being, and dignity. Important work lies ahead, as in the upcoming period the groundwork for effective implementation of the YSL should be laid.

On May 27th the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2576 (2021) extending UNAMI’s mandate in Iraq and calling on the Iraqi Government “to hold perpetrators of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence accountable, to provide mental health and psychosocial support to victims, and to provide reparations and redress measures for all survivors identified in the law, and calling upon the Government of Iraq to extend its provisions to all victims.”

On June 19, 2021, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the C4JR calls the Iraqi government and international community to seize the opportunity and build on this momentum to create a robust and viable CRSV reparations scheme. To this end, the C4JR has outlined 21 recommendations to ensure a survivor centered approach in the development and implementation of the YSL.

Join our campaign, use #C4JR21 and tell the Iraqi government that justice for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence committed by ISIL means putting them front and center.