Over 2,700 Yezidi Chil­dren Lost Par­ents to ISIS

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS BAR -

Some 2,700 Yezidi chil­dren have lost one or both par­ents to the Is­lamic State (ISIS) since 2014 after the mil­i­tants over­ran their com­mu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port com­piled by the Kur­dish Re­gion.

The re­port says that nearly all of the chil­dren cur­rently re­side in camps across the re­gion with no or lim­ited pro­fes­sional treat­ment.

“We have called on the Kur­dish govern­ment as well as in­ter­na­tional donors to take the is­sue of the or­phan chil­dren se­ri­ously and come to their aid,” said Hadi Dobani at the of­fice of the Yezidi Af­fairs, which was set up by the Kur­dish govern­ment in the af­ter­math of ISIS of­fen­sive to as­sist the Yezidi vic­tims.

The ma­jor­ity of the chil­dren, some 1,750 of them, have lost their fa­thers while nearly 470 have lost their moth­ers and another 350 chil­dren lost both their par­ents.

Dobani says that there are also over 220 chil­dren whose par­ents are still in ISIS cap­tiv­ity and there­fore reg­is­tered as hav­ing lost at least one of their par­ents.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fice, of the 6,255 Yezidis who were kid­napped in Au­gust 2014, 3,878 are still in ISIS cap­tiv­ity with nearly 1,800 of them be­ing women and chil­dren.

The num­ber of the Yezidis killed by the mil­i­tants could be as high as 3,000 but no ac­cu­rate data is avail­able since many of the vic­tim fam­i­lies have left Iraq and Kur­dis­tan for Europe and it has been in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to ver­ify the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties.

The Iraqi mi­gra­tion of­fice in Er­bil has an­nounced that over 40,000 Yezidis have mi­grated to Europe since 2014.

“Noth­ing in the world could ever re­place a fa­ther,” says Roukan, 11, who lost her fa­ther in Au­gust 2014 and lives now with her mother at a camp in Do­huk.

“I was only 9 and did not even get to know my fa­ther when he was killed,” she said.

Her mother, Noura, said that her smaller chil­dren con­stantly ask about their fa­ther and when he may come home, not un­der­stand­ing what had hap­pened to their beloved fa­ther.

“I just hope that our cap­tive cousins and rel­a­tives will be freed and come back and give us joy,” Noura said.

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