Yazidi genocide victims left in the dark, government needs to present plan for resettlement



Watch OFWI's press conference by clicking the video above, or read our Storify post by clicking here.

One Free World International (OFWI) and partner organizations are calling on the Canadian government to present a Yazidi resettlement plan with concrete targets and timelines. Canadian organizations actively working with the Yazidi community in Iraq and in Canada have heard radio-silence from the Canadian Government on its commitment to resettle genocide victims to Canada.

The government must be transparent with Canadians about how many genocide victims will be resettled to Canada and present a plan to ensure Yazidi victims are not re-victimized in the process.

Read the Globe and Mail coverage

“I hope our Canadian government does not make the same mistakes where the real victims are ignored and others benefit instead due to political interests,” said Mirza Ismail, Founder and Chairman of Yezidi Human Rights International.

After months of inaction the government recently committed to resettling Yazidi genocide victims within the next 120 days. A coalition of refugee and human rights organizations have come together to offer their help and expertise while calling for a concrete plan.

“We and our partners have people on the ground in Iraq who can work closely with Canadian officials to make sure that the most vulnerable Yazidi are saved,” said Geoffrey Clarfied, Executive Director of Mozuud Freedom Foundation.

For the last two years, OFWI has worked tirelessly to free former Yazidi sex slaves from ISIS’ deadly grip. Earlier this year they presented a joint plan with the Office of Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto, to Minister McCallum’s office and the House of Commons Immigration Committee. The plan called for the government-led resettlement of up to 400 Yazidi women and girls formerly kept as slaves and their families.

Read the OFWI-ORAT Proposal to resettle Yazidi women and girls

“It is good the Government is finally acting to help the Yazidi people, but there is still a long road ahead and a lot of work to do,” said Majed El Shafie, President and Founder of OFWI.

The coalition of organizations helping Yazidi genocide victims and calling for a clear plan from the Canadian government include: