Take slavery in Iraq to the International Criminal Court

Credit: Council of Europe

Thousands of women and children in Iraq are being forced into marriage and sexual slavery by members of ISIS.1

Slavery is such a significant part of ISIS’s agenda that the group has published a pamphlet on the subject, which includes instructions such as, “It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of.”2

Khandhar Kaliph’s daughter is one of the women who have been captured. “She said she is going to be sold as a slave […] for $10. What can a father say to that? How can I help? We all feel so useless.”3 Khandhar has been despairing over the safety of his daughter ever since.

One thing you can do right now is help secure justice for Khandhar’s daughter and others like her. On March 2015, the OHCHR released a report on ISIS’ crimes in Iraq, and one of the recommendations was for the situation to be referred to the International Criminal Court. This is important progress, and we need to keep the pressure on until the Security Council takes action4. Call on Members of the UN Security Council to refer this situation to the International Criminal Court.

Tell Members of the UN Security Council to Act

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The horrendous abuses perpetrated by Islamic State forces (ISIS) are widely known and include the enslavement of thousands of women in north-eastern Iraq.

I call on you to use your membership on the UN Security Council to refer ISIS to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and war crimes including genocide and slavery of Yazidi women and children in north-eastern Iraq.

This request for referral to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal court to investigate the crimes of ISIS comes at a time when the Iraqi government has also agreed in principle to a UN-led investigation into the crimes against civilians. Any delay in referring the situation to the ICC is putting thousands of Yazidi women and children at risk of enslavement and other egregious human rights abuses.

Strong and swift action from the Security Council to hold those responsible for enslavement would give justice to eventual survivors of sexual slavery. The Council must send a clear message to ISIS that they will be held accountable for genocide, slavery and other crimes against humanity.

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Our partner in this campaign:

Yazda

Yazda was established to support the Yazidi ethno-religious minority group in the United States and the Yazidi homeland in northern Iraq and northeastern Syria. Yazda’s mission is to support the Yazidi community in the aftermath of the August 2014 genocide.

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