A United Nations report published Tuesday urges the Iraqi government to do more to help thousands of women and girls who faced rape, sexual abuse and other violations by the Daesh terrorist group.
The report by the U.N. rights office and the U.N. mission in Iraq makes recommendations about ways to improve justice, increase accountability and allow for reparations for victims as Daesh's territorial control has been dwindling.
Daesh has subjected large numbers of women and girls to conflict-related sexual violence including rape and sexual enslavement, as well as psychological violence, the report says, adding that victims must be reintegrated into their families and communities and perpetrators must be held accountable.
Women of ethnic minorities are especially vulnerable, the report explains, and Daesh has targeted the Yezidi community in particular. According to the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs, the Office of Yezidi Administrative Affairs, between August 2014 and July 2017, approximately 6,417 people from the Yezidi community were abducted by Daesh members.
Although the report notes some successes, it says Iraq's criminal justice system "largely fails" to adequately protect abused women and girls subjected to sexual and other violence.
The report urges authorities to avoid recording information on a child's birth certificate about the father that could lead to discrimination or possible violence, such as among children of fathers who fought for Daesh.
Instead, the U.N. advocates for protection of children born to women who were married to persons affiliated with Daesh, so that they are not subjected to discrimination, marginalization or other forms of violence and abuse.
The report cites the Security Council Resolution 2331 (2016) on Trafficking and Sexual Violence, which especially looked at women who had been enslaved by Daesh. The resolution calls for more accountability and support services, including reparation programs, for survivors of abuse.
Above all, the U.N. recommends ensuring accountability and "extending actions to enhance the protection of women and children from sexual violence," as well as "facilitating the appropriate care and protection of women and children subjected to such violence."