Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

UN reports ISIS sex slavery, murder, torture of Yazidi people as genocide

Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP

UN investigators released a report yesterday stating ISIS is committing genocide against the Yazidi people in Syria and Iraq.

The UN declaration of genocide is a huge step forward in getting justice for former sex slavery victim, Nadia Murad and the Yazidis. With the UN backing the fact that ISIS is committing horrendous crimes against humanity, war crimes, and mass murder on the scale of genocide, the world is closer to seeing this case make it to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The UN acknowledging this genocide is based on report from UN investigators with dozens of Yazidi survivors.

The report is called, “They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes against the Yazidis.” It details out, in 41 pages, the horrors Yazidi people, like Nadia, continue to face at the hands of ISIS and sets out a legal analysis of ISIS’ intent to eliminate the hundreds of thousands of Yazidis, who are a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Sinjar mountain region of Iraq. In addition to ISIS’ intent, the UN found names of several ISIS members linked to committing war crimes against the Yazidi people.

45 interviews with brave survivors, religious leaders, smugglers, activists, lawyers, medical personnel, and journalists shared their stories aiding the UN in investigating the genocide.  

For more than two years, since 2014, ISIS has been committing genocide against the Yazidi people without the world’s ear. Today, more than 3,200 girls and women are estimated to be current captive victims of sex slavery held by ISIS – something Nadia Murad, has been telling the world for many months.

AP_16162638566280-Yazidi report names UN report body1.jpgLists of dead and missing Yazidis are taped to the wall of Bahzad Farhan Murad's office where he collects evidence on crimes against Yazidis, in Dohuk, northern Iraq.
Image: AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Men are forced to choose between abandoning their identity and converting to Islam or death. Girls as young as nine are being sold into sex slavery through online auctions, repeatedly raped by multiple ISIS fighters, and boys of the same young age are forced to fight.


“The ISIS fighters told us, ‘Children are young; they are like animals. We can change them. But you are adults. We will not be able to change your mind.’ They said this to us at the hall in Mosul.”

-Girl, aged 17 at capture, held for 17 months, sold 8 times by ISIS fighters


The sexual slavery and separation between Yazidi men and women was found by the UN report to be a tactic of genocide to prevent future generations of Yazidis from being born – “the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow death” for Yazidis the report stated.

"The finding of genocide must trigger much more assertive action at the political level, including at the UN Security Council," Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the commission of inquiry, told a news briefing according to Reuters.

nadia this is how you level the law b2.jpg

This is the second piece of good news for Nadia, and the Yazidi people in the past week.
Last week, world renowned international human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney said she would represent Nadia, and the Yazidi people when the time comes.

Today, the time is getting closer. We hope every country, world leader and activist stands up and supports Nadia and the Yazidi people making sure they receive support and justice for the crimes against humanity they have endured for too long.