Iraq’s parliament has passed the Yazidi Women Survivors Law, two years after it was proposed and seven years following the horrific crimes and genocide committed by ISIS in the northern Sinjar province, where a Yazidi majority lives.
Passing the bill was met with far-reaching local support, and was considered by the US-led International Coalition fighting ISIS as a milestone in the direction of “recovery and rehabilitation.”
Approved on Monday, the bill calls for compensation, habitation and education for Yazidi survivors of ISIS terrorism. It includes Yazidi women that were kidnapped by ISIS in 2014.
The law applies to “every woman Yazidi survivor who was kidnapped by ISIS and later liberated, in addition to women and girls from the Turkmen, Christian and Shabak minorities who were subjected to the same crimes mentioned,” reads the legislation, which also applies to men “who survived the mass killing.”
A new directorate for survivor’s affairs, which will be headed by a Yazidi, was established according to the bill. It will focus on granting financial and moral support to survivors, rehabilitate them, and help in their integration in society.
Rebuilding destroyed cities will also be included in the directorate’s work.
In terms of material support, the law grants survivors a pension, a residential plot of land, and priority in employment.
According to the reparation bill, August 3 will also be considered a day of commemoration for the crimes against Yazidis.
Despite the law recompensing survivors, it fails in settling the status and situation of children born to ISIS fighters from raping Yazidi women.
Sociologist lahay Abdulhussain slammed the bill for not including Muslim women who were also the victims of ISIS in the provinces of Nineveh, Salaheddine and Anbar.
Iraqi President Barham Salih, however, tweeted that the vote was a victory for “our daughters who have been subjected to the most heinous violations and crimes of ISIS genocide.”
He added that “efforts to find out the fate of others who are still missing and those kidnapped, and to provide justice for the victims, must continue, and the perpetrators must be held accountable.”