Yezidi Survivors Bill finally approved by the Iraqi Council of Representatives

elbarlament were delighted to hear that on Monday, 1st March 2021, the Iraqi National Council of Representatives finally adopted the Yezidi Survivors Bill. Introduced to the parliament in April 2019, the bill represents the first legal recognition of the Yezidi genocide by the Iraqi government and offers material and moral compensation to the survivors of violence and abuse by members of Daesh.  

The Yezidi bill was intensively discussed in a series of workshops implemented by elbarlament in the framework of  the project “Women think Iraq anew” in 2019. In a workshop in April 2019, a group of women from the parliament, civil society and academia and coming from different ethnic backgrounds and regions of Iraq, worked out and proposed amendments to the Yezidi Bill and submitted these amendments to parliament with the support of the former head of the Women Committee Haifa Alamin. Notably, the wording of the bill and whether it addresses Yezidi women specifically (who disproportionately suffered from severe human rights violations at the hands of Daesh members), or also includes sexual violence, abuse and torture against all victims of Daesh, was discussed controversially in the workshop. 

The law that was adopted on 1st March applies to Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities, particularly Turkmen, Shabak, and Christians, as well as to male survivors of mass killings. It stipulates that a General Directorate for administering the Survivors’ Affairs shall be created. The Directorate is to be based in Ninewa and shall be led by a Yezidi.