March 28, 2019, 10:16 a.m.

Collective and Moral Reparations for Ezidi Survivors of Genocide - A Field Study

The attacks against the Ezidi ethno-religious minority in Sinjar by fighters of the armed group referring to itself as the Islamic State (“IS”) constitute genocide under the 1948 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as recognized by, inter alia, the United Nations. While government bodies, human rights organizations and journalists have extensively documented crimes against the Ezidis, and despite the number of survivors who have been liberated and are ready to testify, legal proceedings are yet to commence. No large-scale reparation mechanism has been implemented yet by Iraq or the Kurdistan Regional Government for survivors of the genocide, either as a result of legal proceedings or as part of an administrative program.

In this research, we conduct a qualitative study in Northern Iraq and the Kurdistan Region including purposeful interviewing of survivors and families of victims highlighting the Ezidi community’s interests, thereby drafting a framework of collective and moral reparations implementable independent from legal proceedings.

The objective is to design a framework of collective and moral reparations, shaped in light of data collected on the ground and analyzed together with previous examples of reparation schemes implemented as part of transitional justice programs in other post-conflict countries. This study is expected to inform Iraqi and Kurdish policy makers, in addition to foreign development agencies, in helping them direct resources to where they are needed.

Another significant objective is to empower survivors of the genocide, a majority of whom are female survivors of sexual violence, by giving them a platform to voice their needs, opinions and expectations for symbolic collective reparations.

Contact: Jan I. Kizilhan

Project partner: 

Institute for Transcultural Health Science, DHBW Cooperative State University, Germany

Sponsored by: 

Ziviler Friedensdienst (ZFD)