Rebuilding the Yezidi community in Sinjar, Iraq: 2023 Report
June 20, 2024
Ghazala Jango
(Sulaimani, Kurdistan-Iraq)
Luca Mazzacane
(Pavia, Italy)

Introduction

We're offering here a summary of a recent report on progress for Yezidi refugees after the 2014 genocide at the hands of ISIS. The report addresses the needs and challenges of the Yezidi community in Sinjar, Iraq, and is part of a 12-month initiative funded by the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) for the period from 2022 to 2023. It is based on workshops, dialogue sessions, and interviews with Yezidi civil activists, journalists, youth, women, politicians, and community leaders.  

Context and Background
 

  • The Yezidis are an indigenous minority residing primarily in Iraq, with smaller groups in Syria and Turkey.
  • They follow Yezidism, a monotheistic religion with roots in ancient Mesopotamian religions.
  • The Yezidis have faced historical persecution, the most recent being the 2014 genocide by ISIS, resulting in mass killings, kidnappings, and displacement. At that time, over 500,000 Yezidis fled their homes, and many remain displaced and face significant challenges such as marginalization, lack of services, and justice.


Methodology

  • The objective is to understand and address the challenges faced by the Yezidi community.
  • Data was collected through workshops, dialogue sessions, and face-to-face interviews with community figures.


Needs of the Yezidi Community


Yezidi Youth

Challenges

  • Loss of identity and belonging due to displacement.
  • Lack of coordination and common vision among the youth and institutions.
  • Absence of cultural and social facilities, leading to social problems and disintegration.
  • High unemployment and lack of job opportunities.


Yezidi Women

Challenges

  • Severe impact of displacement and the genocide.
  • Lack of confidence and significant challenges in social integration.
  • Migration's impact on women, with increased responsibilities and pressures.


Yezidi Journalists and Activists

Challenges

  • General insecurity and threats to their work.
  • Lack of resources and support for their activities.


Community Leaders and Politicians

Challenges

  • Political conflicts and lack of cohesive leadership.
  • Issues with representation and advocacy for the Yezidi cause.


Opportunities

For Youth

  • Initiatives to foster unity and collaborative efforts among the youth.

For Women

  • Programs to enhance women's confidence and social integration.

For Journalists and Activists

  • Support systems and resources to empower their work.

For Community Leaders and Politicians

  • Strategies to unify the political discourse and strengthen representation.


Recommendations

General Recommendations

  • Strengthening collaboration among Yezidi activists and community leaders.
  • Encouraging Yezidi parliamentarians to work together to meet community demands.
  • Establishing committees to locate abducted and missing women.
  • Advocating for recognition of the Yezidi genocide.
  • Transforming Sinjar into a governorate and activating the Sinjar Reconstruction Fund.
  • Increasing the Yezidi quota in Iraqi and Kurdistan parliaments.


Specific Actions

  • Building the capacity of Yezidi leadership.
  • Improving the educational system and promoting minority rights.
  • Developing the capacity of Yezidi media professionals and ensuring freedom of expression.
  • Establishing a legal framework to protect minority rights.
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Edoardo Tagliati

Thanks for sharing this, very insightful! and so glad you used bullet points for this ;)

4 days ago

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