Awareness-raising about Yazidi missing persons for families in Europe

The International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) organized an event in collaboration with Farida Global Organization, titled “Awareness-raising about Yazidi missing persons for families in Europe.”

Participants included families of missing persons, survivors, Yazidi CSOs, human rights activists, and Iraqi authorities, including experts from the Iraqi Martyrs’ Foundation (Mass Grave Directorate) and the Ministry of Health (Medico-Legal Directorate). This gathering provided a valuable platform for dialogue and exchange between the Iraqi authorities and families of missing persons.

During the event, survivors and families of the missing expressed concerns regarding the identification process of remains, which they found to be a lengthy and challenging ordeal. They further advocated for the creation of search and rescue teams to locate the remaining 2753 missing individuals.

Farida Khalaf, President of Farida Global, shared her experience of having given blood samples to different authorities numerous times, stating, “Our bodies no longer have any blood.” This highlighted the need for better coordination among the various authorities involved in the process, particularly between those in Kurdistan regional governments and the Iraqi central government.

Another family member of a missing person expressed dismay over the dissemination of information about their loved ones’ identification on social media, stating, “We deserve to have better communication. We should be the first ones to hear it directly, not from social media posts.” Such actions were deemed culturally inappropriate and traumatic for the affected families.

As the co-organizer of the event, Farida Global also displayed the exhibition, #TheWomenWhoBeatISIS to showcase the resilience of Yazidi genocide survivors and their advocacy work to bring ISIS militants to justice and advocate for their missing family members.

This event was funded by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office @auswaertigesamt through the support it provides to ICMP’s Iraq program.

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