With the participation of the Legal Affairs Committee, the Human Rights Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, the Women’s Committee, parliamentarians, jurists, specialized international organizations, and the presence of Yazidi women survivors’ activists, the President of Farida Global Organization, Mrs. Farida Khalaf, participated in the technical workshop held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and in the presence of the United Nations Mission in Iraq for the new Yazidi Women Survivors Law, in December 2020. This law was read again in the Iraqi parliament. The main topic of the workshop was the opportunity to discuss it and to make interventions, observations and comments by the participants.
In her turn, Mrs. Khalaf made a number of additions and observations on this draft law. She said,
“As you know, all residents and minorities of the Iraqi people suffered and became victims of ISIS crimes in one way or another, but, we Yazidis, have received the largest share of this suffering and have become the most subjected victims. To this day, as you know, thousands of Yazidi women and children have been kidnapped by the terrorist groups of ISIS and other extremist groups, they became missing too now. They are now kidnapped and missing, not to mention that the majority of Yazidis still live-in displacement tented camps. “
Mrs. Khalaf continued, and below is a summary of her speech and her participation:
“I do not want to repeat what was written and mentioned in this draft law again, but I would like to present some of my interventions and observations and I hope that they will be taken into consideration:
- It is very important that to focus not only on the material side (material assistance) in this law, but rather, I hope, that the focus will be on the material, moral, and legal sides.
- It is important to clarify in this law that it is a law and rights that include everyone. This including women, girls, children and men, of those who liberated / escaped of the ISIS captivity hands, especially those who became victims of sexual violence.
- In this law, rights and compensation must include all survivors, including Yazidi survivors who live as refugees outside of Iraq, such as Germany, Canada, Australia and France, especially since most of them have sought psychological rehabilitation programs to these countries. It is also important that the financial compensation for the survivors in the diaspora is not affected by the income tax laws of these foreign countries for their assistance as much as possible.
- Consideration should be given to respecting all religious customs, radiations and laws, in consultation with religious leaders.
For more than 6 years, as is the case with many other Yezidi female survivors, we have been going around and knocking on the doors of countries around the world, asking them to acknowledge what happened to the Yazidis as a Genocide and to bring the perpetrators of ISIS to justice.
In such visits and forums, they ask us, “You are Iraqi citizens, have the Iraqi government and parliament recognized that it is a crime of Genocide?”
Or, “So far, what has the Iraqi government and parliament provided to the women survivors from trafficking and slavery?”
When such questions come to us, and unfortunately, we bow our heads out of shame and do not have answers to their questions.
Many of governments and international parliaments have admitted that what happened to the Yazidis by ISIS was as a genocide, but unfortunately, even after so long, the Iraqi government and parliament have not recognized the genocide and did not enact a single law for the Yazidi survivors.
Here, I would like to call upon the members of the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi government, those in charge and support of this law, to expedite the enactment and implementation of this law and rights as quickly as possible and to try to the parliament to recognize what happened to the Yazidis as Genocide and to bring motives.