OTTAWA – Yazidi religious minorities in Northern Iraq continue to suffer psychological trauma from genocide, torture, and sexual exploitation by ISIS. The NDP is supporting refugees, as well as the Women Refugees Advocacy Project (WRAP), in their call for urgent action on implementing culturally sensitive, expertly designed, trauma programs and housing, and will be tabling a petition on their behalf in the House of Commons on Monday.
“We are petitioning the government to provide comprehensive trauma care that has been provided in other countries and was promised by our government,” stated WRAP Clinical Psychologist Dr. Loera Kuttner. “By intervening now we can greatly reduce the Yazidi refugees’ suffering. These women and girls are among the most traumatized people on Earth and need our help. We can also enable them to adapt to Canada, and prevent the passing on of the effects of trauma to their children.”
On October 25th, 2016, Parliament unanimously voted to take action within 120 days to resettle Yazidi women and girls who survived the attempted genocide of their people by ISIS. In February 2017, The Minister of Immigration announced that 1,200 survivors of genocide, primarily Yazidi women and girls, would be settled by the end of 2017. The Minister then promised that programs would be put in place to address the extensive need for support during the resettlement process, yet many Yazidi survivors continue to have difficulty accessing these services.
“Parliament, including the Liberal government, vowed to take action to support the Yazidi women and girls who survived unimaginable trauma at the hands of ISIS. I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to speak with Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad, a champion of her people, and the embodiment of the unbreakable human spirit,” added NDP Critic for Immigration, Citizenship, and Refugees, Jenny Kwan. “Bringing Yazidis to Canada is only the first step. We must ensure that the supports and services are in place so that they can rebuild their lives here.”