UN Security Council Adopts Resolution

Nadia Murad, a Yazidi women held captive by ISIS, addresses the United Nations.

“Women and girls are the living victims of this genocide.” – Sareta Ashraph

Today, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted UNSC Resolution 2379 (2017) on Daesh accountability, paving the way for an investigative team to collect evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq. Since 2014, Daesh has been perpetrating a genocidal campaign against the Yazidi and potentially other ethnic minorities in Northern Iraq but yet to date no perpetrator has been held accountable for genocide.

“The resolution today marks an important first step,” says Janet Benshoof, President of the Global

Justice Center. “But the Security Council and Iraq must also fully implement their obligations under

the UN Genocide Convention to prevent, suppress and punish genocide, including by rescuing the

thousands of women and girls still held in captivity. Yazidi women and girls have been waiting for years for the international community to take action on this genocide. This resolution is a long overdue first step to them fulfilling their obligations and upholding the promise of ‘Never Again.’”

Sareta Ashraph, an international legal expert on genocide and gender and lead author of the

Commission of Inquiry on Syria’s 2016 report “They came to destroy” says, “Women and girls are the living victims of this genocide. It is important not to treat the sexual violence crimes against Yazidi women and girls separate from the genocide, as they are an integral part. Daesh has employed all five prohibited acts detailed in the 1948 Genocide Convention.”

Iraq does not have legislation to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and is not a member to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). “Current trials and prosecutions of Daesh fighters have been conducted solely under Iraq’s counter-terrorism law and there have been reports of human rights violations,” says Benshoof. “Justice and accountability are essential components of post-conflict transition and rebuilding. For these trials to be viewed as legitimate and credible they must be conducted in line with international human rights…

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