Today marks the 6th anniversary of the start of the genocidal campaign by ISIS against the Yazidi community of Sinjar, Northern Iraq. The genocide, which began on 3rd August 2014, consisted of brutal attacks whereby Yazidi people were murdered, boys were forcibly recruited into combat and women and girls were captured and held in sexual slavery. An estimated 6,417 Yazidis were kidnapped and 360,000 were displaced from Sinjar.
Despite the territorial defeat of ISIS in 2019, some 3000 Yazidi community members are still missing. Family members of those who remain in captivity, are extorted for ransom and face impossible choices.
Many of those who fled Sinjar and the onslaught of ISIS remain in prolonged displacement and face increasingly harsh living conditions, struggling to meet their basic needs. Mental health concerns and suicide attempts have drastically increased as a result of living conditions, a deteriorating economy, and the compounding effect of the COVID-19 lockdown. Persistent security concerns, a lack of reconstruction and unexploded ordnances are barriers to return to Sinjar.
JRS stands with the displaced Yazidi community in demanding that the world remember the genocide and acknowledge the irrevocable impact it has had on the Yazidi community.
JRS calls on the international community, local organisations and governments to:
- Support efforts to account for the missing and safely return Yazidis in captivity to their families;
- Meet the needs of Yazidis still living in displacement;
- Provide compensation to those affected by the 2014 genocide;
- Support the reconstruction of Sinjar to enable safe return.