PANEL 1: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES RELATED TO THE YSL
PANEL 2: NEXT STEPS TO ENSURE AN INCLUSIVE, PROGRESSIVE, SURVIVORS-CENTRIC AND VIABLE REPARATIONS PROGRAM FOR ISIL SURVIVORS IN IRAQ
The event is co-hosted by: Nadia's Initiative, Coalition for Just Reparations, UN Office on Sexual Violence in Conflict, International Organization for Migration, UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.
On March 1st, 2021, members of the Iraqi Parliament passed the Yazidi [Women] Survivors Law (YSL). This historic law, based on the initial bill submitted by the Iraqi Presidency in March 2019, will deliver long-awaited relief not only to Yazidi women, but other survivors belonging to ethno-religious communities targeted by the self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Since 2003, Iraq has suffered internecine conflict and insecurity, impacting heavily upon the once rich cradle of ancient ethno-religions and cultures. During the conflict with ISIL in Iraq, at least 30,000 civilians were killed, 55,000 injured and more than 3 million were displaced. Ethno-religious communities including Christians, Yazidis, Sabean-Mandaeans, Turkmen, Kaka'i, and Shabaks were particularly targeted, triggering existential threats which continue to this day. Moreover, ISIL waged a genocidal campaign primarily against the Yazidis, but also other minorities across the Sinjar region and the Nineveh plains seeking to erase their presence in Iraq altogether.
The passing of the YSL in March 2021, represents important milestone not only for the recognition of and provision of remedies for the suffering of Yazidis and other captives of ISIL in Iraq, but also one of the very few precedents of states taking deliberative action to specifically address the rights and needs of the survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV). However, any law is only as good as it is implemented. Hence, there is a need to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the YSL, including the necessary institutional infrastructure, capacity and collaboration, as well as the ways to ensure effectiveness, sustainability, financing and compliance with standards and best practices.