Statement regarding the recognition of the Yazidi genocide by the German Parliament
Yesterday, 19 January 2023 the German Bundestag has officially recognised that the crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) against the Yazidi community in 2014 constitute genocide. The history of the Yazidi community is marked by exclusion, expulsion from their homeland and an ongoing threat to their existence. Therefore, many Yazidis have been forced to leave their homeland to find safety.
The recognition of the genocide by Germany, home to the largest diasporic Yazidi community, is hence of specific importance. Recognising the genocide gives survivors a voice, raises public awareness and reaffirms the experiences of Yazidis and survivors. Moreover, it remembers all those Yazidis who were murdered, are missing, or are still fighting for their lives. As a survivor-led and survivor-centred Yazidi organisation, we emphasise the high symbolic and substantive significance of this recognition.
Together with fellow CSOs, governmental stakeholders, academic actors, and with politicians, we have worked for years towards this milestone. We want to thank everyone who fought alongside us to make this recognition happen. A special thanks goes to all genocide survivors who have been advocating over the past eight years, calling for justice and accountability.
However, if we are serious about protecting Yazidi lives worldwide and claiming justice for victims, the work cannot stop here. Today, 2,700 Yazidis remain missing. Mass graves are still being discovered, and with no prospect of a safe return to their home regions, about 300 000 Yazidis still reside in IDP camps.
Yazidi survivors, their families, and communities have a voice – they thus need to be heard and mechanisms have to be facilitated for this reason. This holds especially true in light of the attempted epistemicide committed by ISIS. For this reason, Farida Global has initiated the Farida Global Writing Collective, in which framework it comes together with globally recognized scientists to conduct participatory and survivor-centric research projects to inform policies by governments and civil societies worldwide in support of survivors, their families, and communities.
Informed by this research, we call on Germany and the international community to:
- Support the reunion of Yazidi families scattered between Iraq and Germany through further Special Quota Projects, as many survivors consider this program vital to rebuilding their lives. We, hence, welcome the Special Quota Project announced by the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg, one of our closest partners in Germany. More information on the importance of further Special Quota Projects and their implementation from a survivors perspective, can be found in the Farida Global Writing Collectives’ Recommendation Paper on the “Survivor-Centric Implementation of Special Quota Projects to Germany”. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
- Continue to grant protection under the asylum procedure, taking into account the persistent persecution and marginalisation of the Yazidi community, and to recognize that an important part of overcoming and dealing with trauma is reunification with one’s own family.
- Establish a special international tribunal in Germany and/or a hybrid tribunal in Iraq based on international standards where survivors’ voices will be heard in open public court rooms. This call for justice further includes the trial of IS perpetrators under universal jurisdiction.
- Establish with other EU members and their partners an international fund and to continue to work with the Iraqi government and international partners to rebuild destroyed Yazidi towns and villages. It is critical to facilitate a safe, dignified and voluntary return of Yazidis to their homeland as part of rebuilding their lives.
- Ensure access to the Yazidi Survivors Law (YSL) for all survivors of IS crimes and to urge the Iraqi government to allow for its accessibility and availability to survivors living outside of Iraq. Further, we urge host governments to support this process without restriction for survivors living in their jurisdiction. To understand the YSL’s legal dimensions, technical implementation and psychosocial needs of the survivors in this framework, the Farida Global Writing Collective has developed the Guidance on “Supporting Survivor Applications under the Yazidi Survivors Law” based on our programming in Iraq. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
- Support the rehabilitation of survivors through the establishment of long-term rehabilitation centres in the area of displacement and ensure sustainable humanitarian efforts in Iraq by assisting CSOs close to the community.
Given the highly sensitive and complex history of the Yazids, it is crucial that all programmes are created and implemented in a participatory, survivor-centric, culturally sensitive, and psychosocially informed way. We urge all parties to let survivors sit at the table where these programmes are being discussed and shaped. Yazdi survivors are strong and have a voice, they only need a platform in which they are listened to and heard. Meaningful participation is crucial to ensure that the needs of survivors and their families are at the centre of any programmes developed.
We want to thank all our friends, allies and partners who have supported us along the way to making the recognition of the Yazidi genocide happen. We look forward to continuing working with you to ensure a safe and dignified life for all Yazidis.
We would like to clarify that the president and team of Farida Global participated in the debate in the event organised by the German Green Party on the 19.01.2023 in the Bundestag and as a survivor-led non-profit and non-governmental organisation and not as a part of any religious or politically affiliated groups.
Farida Global Organization (FGO) is a global non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) founded and led by survivors of the Yazidi genocide (Farman) and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), who have advocated for survivors’ protection and rights since their escape from ISIS captivity. In this context, FGO acts with its partners in the international community to give voice and support to and uphold the human dignity and well-being of survivors and their communities.
Issued on: 20.01.2023
Contact: Farida Global Organization