Fiona, in her capacity as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, represents the UK at the International Religious Freedom of Belief Alliance (IRFBA).
Today the IRFBA has published a statement on the almost 3000 Yezidi Women and Children who remain missing following the 2014 attacks on Sinjar, Iraq, co-signed by 17 countries. The full statement can be found below.
"As members, friends, and observers of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance, we note with grave concern that seven years since ISIS/Daesh began its campaign against the Yezidis, thousands of Yezidi women and children remain missing.
The 2014 attacks on Sinjar and the Ninevah Plains displaced thousands of people from their homes. ISIS/Daesh abducted thousands of others, forcing boys to become child soldiers and selling women and children into sexual slavery. The number of people they killed remains unknown, and discoveries of mass graves continue.
Yezidi groups report that at least 2,763 Yezidi women and children remain missing after being kidnapped by ISIS/Daesh.
Seven years after the mass atrocities, it is terrible that so many Yezidi women and children remain missing and that their fate is unknown.
Those signing this statement are willing to work with governments, international organizations, and Yezidis around the world to assist Yezidis displaced or abducted by ISIS/Daesh and to advocate for their agency and for their enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief, including the freedom to manifest their religion or belief either individually or in community with others. We continue to support the care of Yezidi survivors, prioritizing their needs and wishes."
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.