Yazidi Survivors Network
The Yazidis Survivors Network (YSN) is a program that supports and empowers survivors of the ISIS Genocide, helping them to speak out about their experiences, express their needs, fight for justice, and puruse acountabilty and Human Rights on national and international levels. YSN will also advocate for the expansion of effective programs and services for survivors and their vulnerable communities in Iraq. Read the full announcement letter here.
One of the central aspects of ISIS’s genocidal attacks against Yazidi communities in August 2014 was the abduction and enslavement of more than 6,000 women and children. Women, men, girls and boys have endured sexual violence and trafficking; cultural, religious and social destruction; and ongoing torture.
For the survivors of these terrible atrocities, the trauma is severe and long-term. Further, there remain some 3,000 Yazidis in captivity. Thus the genocide continues to this day.
For over three years Yazda supported, managed and funded the global advocacy campaign led by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nadia Murad. In the past five years, Yazda also supported Farida Abbas, Dalal Khero, Hala Safel and other survivors, assisting them in speaking out about their experiences during the genocide and their needs and the needs of their communties. This has played a key role in building a foundation for advocacy for justice, accountability, genocide recognition and brought huge attention to the sufferings of forgetting minority communities in Iraq and Syria. This advocacy must continue and be broadened, in order to maintain public attention on the ongoing situation facing small ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, and to continue calls for the international community to recognise the Yazidi genocide, acknowledge ISIS crimes against all Iraqi and Syrian communties, and take action to hold perpetrators accountable.
In addition, survivors are rarely involved in decision-making processes on issues that directly concern them, such as humanitarian programming, access to justice, and reconciliation negotiations. When survivors’ voices are not being heard, their needs cannot truly be met. This proposed survivor-centered network challenges the assumption that traumatized survivors cannot be expected to speak for themselves. In fact, when given the right support, survivors are proving to be effective advocates for their own needs, well able to make invaluable contributions at all levels of the response to conflict-related sexual violence.
Goals and Objectives
This campaign focuses on the following goals and objectives:
- Promote international recognition of ISIS gencoide and other crimes against Yazidis and other communities in Iraq and Syria.
- Advocate for the expansion of effective programs and services for survivors and their vulnerable communities in Iraq.
- Advocate for official evidence collection and national and international prosecution of the perpetrators.
- Advocate for those still in captivity or missing to be freed, and for survivors to be supported to rebuild their lives, rejoin their communities and actively participate in shaping their communities.
- Seek support for the rebuilding of the community in Sinjar and Nineveh plain
- Promote human rights, especially children and women's rights.
- Fight terrorism and extremism and promote programs for deradicalisation and informal justice
Research and Evidence
- A powerful tool:
Dealing with the media
Members of Network
20 survivors have already joined the network. We apply a survivor-centered approach and publish only photos and bios of survivors who have already done advocacy work and wish to appear on our website. All survivors joining the network are informed about their rights and potential risks by our legal team. Once they understand the latter, survivors sign a consent form and are free to withdraw their consent at any time.
Partners and Supporters
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org