This project is designed to seek justice and accountability for crimes committed by ISIS against Yezidi women and girls during the 2014 genocide. Thousands of Yezidi women and children were sold as sex slaves in Iraqi and Syrian markets and subjected to unspeakable rape, abuse, and psychological torment. Over 7 years later, over 3,000 women are still missing and survivors battle PTSD daily. Working with international partners, FYF helps document and investigate war crimes for future prosecution.
In August 2014, ISIS militants swept through Sinjar in northern Iraq in a deliberate attempt to annihilate the Yezidis, an ethnoreligious minority. They employed brutal tactics including mass executions, rape, forced conscription of children, and sexual enslavement. In the immediate aftermath of the genocide, thousands of Yezidis were murdered. To this day, 300,000 Yezidis remain displaced and almost 3,000 Yezidi women and children are still missing, with many presumed to be in ISIS captivity.
Our Justice and Accountability team is partnering with the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD) to document and investigate individual crimes committed against Yezidis in both Iraq and Syria. This work is critical to building an evidence-base for eventual prosecution of ISIS members accused of war crimes against Yezidi survivors.
While there have been international efforts to charge ISIS members with terrorism, there have been no attempts to charge them with war crimes against the Yezidis. Such charges would carry the deserved stigma of rape and sexual abuse of children. This stigma would bolster counter-extremism efforts and create a counter-narrative against ISIS's use of sexual slavery as a recruitment tool for foreign fighters. There is a critical need to collect evidence of these crimes to help prosecute offenders.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).