Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights statement on the Recognition of the Genocide against the Yezidis by the German Bundestag

Berlin (January 17, 2023) – Jiyan Foundation welcomes the recognition of the genocide against the Yezidis* by the German Bundestag and the support of the German government for the people on the ground.

“This recognition should now be accompanied by long-term stabilization and expansion of support,” said Salah Ahmad, director of Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights. “The trauma of the tens of thousands and the societal impact of the terror of the so-called Islamic State will continue for a long time. Our assistance must be equally long-term to overcome the lines of conflict that remain.”

Jiyan Foundation founded the Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), a coalition 31 local organizations in Iraq that advocate for the rights of all survivors of Islamic State atrocities. “This work is important,” Ahmad continued, “because individual assistance can only be sustainable if the injustices suffered are addressed politically and socially. The focus must be on the people and their civil society organizations.”

The Yazidi Female Survivors’ Law (YSL), passed by the Iraqi parliament on March 1, 2021, provides a good basis for this work, he said. “For us, the law is the culmination of our advocacy work so far,” says Salah Ahmad. “I would like to see more long-term and stable support from the Federal Republic of Germany for these local initiatives that accompany the implementation of the law.”

The YSL also allows women from other religious and social communities (Christian, Shabak, Turkmen) abducted by the Islamic State to access reparations. The same applies to abducted male Yazidi children. “However, the actual implementation of the law must be monitored and accompanied by the survivors. For this, it needs our support,” Ahmad continued. “In addition, the law must be extended to other social groups.”

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights has been supporting survivors of war, terror, and sexual violence in Iraq and Syria since 2005 with the support of the German government. Through nine centers and affiliated mobile structures, it provides affected people with psychotherapeutic, medical and legal assistance. Part of its efforts is to enable displaced survivors to return from the Sinjar region, mainly inhabited by Yezidis. A prerequisite for this is the guarantee of peace, stability, and security.

About Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization that supports survivors of human rights violations, defends fundamental freedoms, and promotes democratic values throughout the world. Jiyan Foundation seeks to build democratic societies that protects the dignity of the human being, where adults and children enjoy the rights to life and freedom, and citizens are free from violence, torture, and terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations.

Our programs, projects, and initiatives provide mental health, medical treatment and other health services to survivors of trauma, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations. Our work supports nine treatment centers, a clinic for Yazidi women and families, a Healing Garden and mobile teams helping survivors in 11 refugee and IDP camps in nine regions throughout Kurdistan-Iraq, Iraq, and Syria. Since 2005 these programs have provided support to over 100,000 people.

About the Coalition for Just Reparations

C4JR is a project of Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights and an alliance of Iraqi civil society organizations (CSOs), representing Iraq’s linguistic, ethnic, and religious diversity, supporting reparation claims of survivors and other victims of crimes perpetrated during the conflict with the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS conflict in Iraq). C4JR draws on international human rights and national law to advance the right to reparations for all civilian victims of ISIS armed conflict in Iraq.