Nov 24, 2020 Last Updated 4:25 PM, Oct 10, 2020

Survivors' Perspectives

Survivors' voices captured during launch of Coaltion for Just Reparations

This is a summary of the main points from the panel discussion with eight survivors of ISIS atrocities, held in Erbil on 6th of November 2019. Survivors' appeals were kept in their original formulations, with minor adjustments.

What Reparations do Survivors Need?

  • We want our future, it's not only about the money.
  • Moral and financial reparations.
  • Look for the missing people - now we have no information about their fate.
  • Take care of the orphans and children whose parents are missing.
  • Compensate and provide security to the displaced people so that they can go back home.
  • Open schools and hospitals.
  • Facilitate the registration of papers so that we can have passport of residency cards.
  • We need salaries, living and job opportunities to provide for our families.
  • We need certificates for the dead and the missing.
  • We need salaries to be above the poverty line, to have a decent life.
  • I feel traumatized and need psychosocial support.
  • It would be solace for us if government opens mass graves.
  • Compensate survivors outside Iraq.
  • Search for missing people, retrieve bodies of those killed.
  • Decide on genocide.
  • Provide compensation and psychosocial support.
  • Make available vocational trainings, health care official recognition of human rights violations.
  • Build memorial sites.
  • Provide international protection.
  • Respect our religion.

Messages of Survivors to State Officials

  • Speed up enacting the Yazidi Female Survivors’ Law, so that the compensation can be given as soon as possible.
  • Amend relevant laws so that missing persons can be considered martyrs and their families receive compensation.
  • We want the government to look at the camps in Syria, there are still children and women there. … Either Iraqis in Syrian camps should be brought here, or we can visit them there. We need a solution for this problem.
  • Do not wait for ten years [to provide compensation]. Nobody will stay in Iraq without compensation. I feel like I have no future in Iraq.
  • International protection and to search for mass graves.

Expectations from the C4JR

  • We expect you will do everything, thank you for forming this coalition.
  • We are hopeful that this coalition will convey our voices to the government.
  • We hope the coalition will use legal ways to pressure the government for the missing persons and both women and men need to get their rights. We hope for good things from the coalition.
  • To convey our voice to find a solution for this issue. We are exhausted.
  • Tell [the government] what the demands of the survivors are, despite their background. We hope they will address our needs very soon; we are so tired, it took a very long time.
  • We are eligible and qualified to get this compensation. We are hopeful you can work for the government on our behalf.

Where do Survivors Want to Receive Reparations?

  • We are not hoping for reparations in camps but in the original places. The situation in the campsites is very difficult. Families of ten people are living in a tent. For five years we have been in a tent, even though it should be six months. We want to go back to our original areas.
  • We hope somewhere else than in tents, no future, we are suffering in tents. We will return to our original places but there needs to be safety by the government. Many leave because there is no security in Iraq.

Justice, but Fair

  • The government should bring perpetrators to justice but for innocent people we don’t want any harm for them.
  • There is a need for a court to bring the criminals before justice to have a fair trial for them.
  • The Yazidis suffered too much - we cannot forget what happened to us - we were assaulted. No family of the Yazidis that were not damaged.
  • Forgiveness is important. What happened to us was a big injustice and it is not easy to forgive.