Yazidi women's conference ends with calls to the international community

At the end of the conference of the Yazidi women's association SMJÊ in Brussels, recommendations for action for the reconstruction of Shengal were approved.

The international conference on the topic “Shengal – A society threatened by genocide – reconstruction as a guarantee for peace in the Middle East” took place in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday. The conference was organized by the umbrella organization of the Yazidi Women's Councils (SMJÊ) in cooperation with the Central Association of Yazidi Associations in Germany.

The day-long conference was held on the 10th anniversary of the genocide and femicide of the Yazidi community in the Shengal region of northern Iraq. The genocide was carried out by the Islamic State on 3 August. Several states have recognized the horrendous massacres as genocide.

Among other things, the questions discussed included what humanitarian obligations arise for states from recognizing the genocide of the Yazidis and what methods should be used to rebuild Shengal.

The conference ended with the listing of a number of demands and recommendations for action to the international community. The 15-point final declaration lists the following topics, among others:

Prosecute those responsible for the genocide

The conference called on international organizations, in particular the United Nations and the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, to investigate the statements contained in its report. The UN, the European Parliament and many national parliaments have recognized the atrocities committed in Shengal as genocide, and other parliaments and international organizations should join in. “We also demand that states and institutions that recognize the genocide take measures to prosecute those responsible. International efforts should be made to free the thousands of Yazidi women and children still held by ISIS.

Allow return to Shengal

The Yazidis who fled in 2014 must be allowed to return to Shengal. The KDP must be asked not to further complicate the return of people. The repair of the war damage and the reconstruction of Shengal need international support.

Legal prosecution of state support for ISIS

The support of ISIS by states such as Turkey in particular is not being prosecuted legally. This is not only shameful, but also paves the way for new massacres. Great importance is attached to the Yazidi Justice Committee (YJC) report entitled "State Responsibility and the Yazidi Genocide" published in July 2022.

Stop Turkish attacks

The countries that have recognized the genocide against the Yazidi community must use political, diplomatic and legal means to stop Turkey's attacks on the Shengal region. The airspace must be closed to military air traffic.

Cancellation of the Shengal Agreement

The UN, the Iraqi government and the European Parliament should view the Shengal Agreement signed on 9 October 2020 as a concept for a continuation of the genocide and femicide against the Yazidis and annul it. The Yazidi organizations and institutions in Shengal must be involved in all decisions.

Searching for missing women

The conference called on UN Women and the European Union Commission on Women to identify Yazidi women and girls through special investigations in the countries where they are trafficked and to take legal action on this issue.

3 August should be designated femicide day

The conference called on the European Parliament to designate 3 August as feminicide day against women to prevent massacres against women from being included in geostrategic and geopolitical calculations in the future.