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

UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) releases report on recommendations for landmark Yazidi Female Survivor’s Law in Iraq.

Published:May 21, 2021

Text provided by IOM. See IOM’s full report here.

Iraq recently adopted the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law – a landmark bill that outlines and stipulates for a host of reparation benefits for survivors of the ISIS conflict, particularly Yazidi women and girls who survived conflict-related sexual violence. However, specific details regarding the implementation of the programme remain largely unclear. Participation of potential applicants to the programme’s design and implementation will play a significant role in its success. Although some past initiatives have brought decision-makers, survivors, and civil society together, the reparation programme must also be sure to meet the particular demands of Yazidi refugees that are currently forcibly displaced outside the territory of Iraq due to fears of persecution and devastating consequences of the genocide. The Yazidi [Female] Survivors Law does mention applications received from outside of Iraq, thus pointing to the existence of political will to include refugee survivors. Nonetheless, implementation should be designed with careful consideration to ensure both availability and accessibility.

Drawing upon semi-structured interviews with 13 Yazidi women, this report provides an overview of reparation demands of Yazidi women living in Germany and their opinions regarding the new law and its future implementation. The interviewees are part of the Baden-Württemberg Special Quota Humanitarian Admission Programme that was announced in 2014 to provide medical and psychosocial support to Yazidi women and children who survived ISIS, through which 1,100 survivors arrived in Germany. The report concludes by offering decision-makers concrete recommendations for the implementation of reparations and development of secondary legislation (bylaws).