MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER
We hope this finds you and your families safe and healthy. March was a busy month for the Yezidi community and for FYF. Groundbreaking legislation passed the Iraqi parliament, FYF was featured in a number of events and news articles, and high profile visits underlined the continued importance of religious and ethnic minority rights.
Of the highest consequence was the long-awaited passage of the Yezidi Survivors' Bill in Iraqi parliament. This law establishes compensation for Yezidi women and child survivors of ISIS sexual violence and human trafficking after August 3, 2014, also including Turkmen, Christian, and Shabak survivors. The law also stipulates the provision of rehabilitation and reintegration services for affected individuals. FYF warmly welcomed this critical step, but cautions that clear implementation of the law must be prioritized by the relevant parties. In addition, the law must be interpreted as only the first step on the long path towards state efforts to facilitate healing, rehabilitation, and reintegration for the Yezidi community.
From March 5-8, Pope Francis embarked on the first-ever Papal visit to Iraq. Moved by the challenges faced by Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, Pope Francis spoke to the need for an inclusive Iraq that values diversity of religious identity in the cradle of civilization.
On this topic of addressing the fundamental needs of Iraq's many minority groups, FYF's Executive Director published an op-ed
with the Religious Freedom Institute highlighting the path forward to coexistence and equal rights. The piece highlights concrete legal, educational, and security-focused steps to establish a vibrant, successful, and inclusive multi-ethnic/religious Iraq.
On March 25th, FYF joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Society of International Law to celebrate the launch of the Pursuing Justice for Mass Atrocities handbook. This tool is a practitioner-oriented resource designed to assist survivor groups in advocating for justice and their own rights after mass atrocities, and includes FYF materials.
FYF represented the Yezidi voice on a panel, along with Uyghur, Rohingya, and South Sudanese activists, to mark the launch and discuss ways in which survivor communities can ethically pursue justice in the aftermath of atrocities.
On March 8th, FYF celebrated one of our favorite days of the year - International Women's Day! As a woman-led, feminist organization, FYF is proud to advance the fight for gender equality and equity in each of our programs. With over 70% of FYF staff comprised of females - including a majority from the displaced Yezidi community - FYF is committed to lifting up the voices of women as powerful agents of change.
Thank you, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community.
Founder and Executive Director
In the News
Al-Monitor | Iraq passes law addressing women survivors of Yazidi genocide | This article highlights the new bill, discussing broader security concerns and quoting FYF.
Gatestone Institute | Iraq: Turkey Set to Attack the Yazidis? | This article discusses the threat of Turkish incursion into Sinjar, quoting FYF.
Kurdistan24 | Iraq's parliament ratifies survivor law in major recognition of Yezidi genocide | This article, quoting FYF, highlights the recently passed Survivors' Bill, including compensation and pension stipulations.
Religious Freedom and Business Foundation | Call for businesses to raise awareness of modern-day genocide | This campaign highlights opportunities for business leaders to advance FYF's post-genocide reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.