Salim, 42, lost everything in an attack by Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in Iraq’s Sinjar district in 2014. “We used to have a farm, but ISIS destroyed it,” he told Human Rights Watch. “They vandalized my house and stole all my furniture.” Since returning to his village in 2016, he has struggled to get back on his feet and support his family.
Salim is entitled to compensation Iraqi under law number 20, which allows all Iraqis to claim compensation for losses incurred during “combat operations, military mistakes and terrorist operations”; But getting compensation is an uphill battle. the ongoing political dispute between the federal government and the Kurdish regional government over the governance of the district; an application process that is complex and costly; And the failure by the Iraqi authorities to distribute the allocated funds has created a perfect storm that has left many Sinjaris in limbo, unable to reclaim their lives and property.
While about half of the 10,500 applications filed by the Sinjaris have been approved, not a single family has yet received payment under Iraqi Law No. 20. This is in stark contrast to other areas of Iraq, where all have paid at least some compensation.
nearby 200,000 Sinjri is still displaced after years of struggle. Many are living in the camps and are hoping that compensation will get them some way out. But despite the scale of the need, the number of Sinjaris receiving compensation has been very low Yezidis, a religious minority who were subjected to great abuse by ISIS in Sinjar. living Yezidis were able to apply under yazidi survivor lawThere isn’t a way out for most sleds.
For Salim, the outlook is grim. He was eligible to file a claim in 2021, but started working on his application recently because he could not afford the fees or related costs to apply earlier. He still does not know whether he will complete the application or not. “Given that it will require time and money, I am not sure that I will be able to complete it,” he said.
For Sinjaris like Salim, compensation will be an important lifeline to connect lives torn apart by the conflict. The Iraqi government should immediately remove obstacles to the compensation process and provide the Sinjaris with the assistance they need to begin rebuilding their lives.