On March 1st, 2021, the Iraqi Parliament approved the Yazidi Female Survivors Bill. The bill recognizes ISIL’s violation against women and girls from ethnic minorities as crimes and provides legal assistance and compensation for victims and survivors.
For a long period of time, Yazidi women and girls have been suffering from the atrocities of ISIL, such as kidnapping, forced marriage and sexual enslavement, which destroy their lives and blemish their reputation. After visiting Iraq, a UN independent expert said that victims still live unstably and they were facing difficulties in finding a solution. Thanks to the law passed in March, victims can now get assistance to reintegrate into society and get compensation in the forms of pensions, provision of land, housing and education.
Yet, there are still problems that have not been addressed by the bill. Children born out of rape are at high risk of abandonment because their mothers cannot register them without a father. Yazidi mothers with children born out of sexual exploitation face a dilemma in either leaving their hometowns or giving up their kids. Layla, a mother who has a child born out of rape told journalists that because of her child, she need to hid herselves. However, if she is permitted to keep her child, she can return to normal life.
On April 21st, 2021, UN Special Procedures called on more measures to address this issue. A UN rights expert appealed the Government of Iraq to protect the rights of both the children and their mothers. At the same time, the UN rights expert also called on the international community to contribute to the implementation of the bill.
Yezidi children and women who fled Sinjar Mountain re-enter Iraq from Syria at a border crossing in the town of Peshkhabour in Dohuk Governorate
Source: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie
About the author：
Ruby is a journalist in SRP‘s Writing and Interviewing Program. She is a senior student majoring in translation and interpreting. Her areas of interest centre around quality education, sustainable production and climate action.