Over 2,700 Yezidi Children Lost Parents to ISIS
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.