In August 2014, the Islamic State unleashed a genocidal campaign in the Yazidi-majority district of Sinjar, Iraq. Targeting Yazidis, ISIS fighters destroyed villages, killed over 3,000 people, kidnapped over 6,400 more, enslaved women and children, and demanded Yazidis convert to Islam. They also targeted Shia and Sunni Kurds and Sunni Arabs who did not comply with ISIS goals and ideology. These violent attacks caused a humanitarian crisis that ultimately resulted in over 200,000 people fleeing the area. While the fighting is over, returns to the region have been stymied.
CIVIC’s report, “Caught in the Middle: The impact of security and political fragmentation on civilian protection in Sinjar,” analyzes the protection threats affecting civilians in Sinjar and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are unable to return to the area. It assesses how the fragmented security landscape and the dispute between the Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) are impacting civilians’ lives, as well as how the lack of access to justice and compensation is undermining reconciliation efforts and creating an environment where revenge is sought.