Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The United Nations has urged Iraq to protect female victims of sexual violence under Islamic State militants, and to ensure children produced by victims’ rape do not endure discrimination.
“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 said Tuesday. It said victims had 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.
Since they emerged in 2014 to proclaim a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”, Islamic State militants notoriously held female sex slaves and forced many to marry fighters.
The United Nations had previously urged Baghdad not to subject the families of IS fighters to collective punishments. Local authorities had declared plans to halt the admission of refugees related to IS fighters and to isolate them in rehabilitation camp.
The organization said women and girls need to “have access to appropriate medical, psychosocial, financial, livelihood and other means of support”.
It also pointed that despite positive steps taken by Baghdad in protecting women’s and children’s rights, legislative improvements were also necessary to ensure legal protection and an access to the justice system for the affected individuals.