During an event today (03 Aug) marking the sixth anniversary of the genocidal campaign against the Yazidi minority, Nadia Murad who survived trafficking at the hands of ISIL (Da’esh) called on the Governments in Iraq and Erbil to “search for and rescue those still missing, to resolve issues of the local governments and security in Sinjar, and to invest in the redevelopment of the region.”
She said, “Yazidis deserve support to rebuild. Yazidis deserve peace and security. They deserve justice and accountability. Survivors cannot wait another six years for the world to act.”
The Nobel Peace Laureate said, “as we speak, there are over 2,800 Yazidi women and children are still missing and in captivity. No collective action has been taken to search for and to rescue those women and children.”
She continued, “the world watched in outrage and demanded that tangible actions be taken to end the genocide, but six years later, the international community has failed to keep its commitment to protecting those most vulnerable, especially women and children.”
Murad also said that after so many years of waiting and enduring the effects of genocide, Yazidis feel that the international community and the Government in Baghdad and Erbil have abandoned them.
She said, “We must do better. We must not let another year go by accepting the status quo. The status quo is destroying my community. International inaction is enabling ISIS to accomplish their goal of eradicating the Yazidis from Iraq.”
Also speaking via video link, barrister Amal Clooney said that no progress has been made since she put forward four alternative pathways to create or empower an international court to put ISIS on trial, including grounding jurisdictions in the International Criminal Court, or creating a court by treaty between Iraq and the UN.
She said, “the crimes committed by ISIS were committed by individual men and women, and the responsibility of the international community to respond is the one also rests with the individual, that means the leaders of States, the diplomats of the United Nations and all those with an influence who can be advocates for justice. Each and every one of you.”
Clooney reiterated, “doing nothing is not only wrong, but it is also dangerous because these fighters are not going anywhere and the toxic ideology continues to spread. And justice is possible now just as it has been possible before if only it is made a priority.”
In 2014, Da’esh (ISIL) ravaged through Sinjar, killing and destroying, singling out Yazidis in their systematic campaign of destruction. Thousands upon thousands of people fled to the mountains. Many were killed. Women and children were kidnapped and enslaved, subjected to heinous sexual crimes. Many remain missing, and the survivors continue to bear the scars of this trauma. Women, in particular, suffer acutely from stigma and rejection. Haunted by the dark shadow of these atrocities, and buffeted by present-day political, security and economic challenges, the Yazidis remain determined to build a better future.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad Basee Taha – who survived trafficking at the hands of ISIL (Da’esh) – was formally appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.