Justice essential to help Iraqi victims of ISIL’s sexual violence rebuild lives
The Iraqi Government needs to ensure that the thousands of women and girls who survived rape and other forms of sexual violence by ISIL fighters receive care, protection and justice, and that children born as a result of such violence do not face a life of discrimination and abuse, a UN report published today says.
“Women and girls under the control of ISIL, in particular women from the Yezidi and other minority communities, have been especially vulnerable to abuses of human rights and violation of international humanitarian law,” the report by the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Human Rights Office says.
Victims have been subjected to rape and sexual assault, forced displacement, abduction, deprivation of liberty, slavery, forced religious conversion, and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.
“The physical, mental, and emotional injuries inflicted by ISIL are almost beyond comprehension. If victims are to rebuild their lives, and indeed those of their children, they need justice and they need redress,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (pictured).
The Iraqi Government has the obligation, under domestic law and international human rights law, to ensure all victims have access to justice and reparations. This obligation includes ensuring accountability of the alleged perpetrators through trials before independent and impartial tribunals, conducted in a gender-sensitive manner so as not to perpetuate victims’ suffering.