A German state announced a ban on the deportation of Yazidi women and children, given that their conditions in northern Iraq are still “worrying” and they lack the necessary protection, amid political demands to ban the deportation of this group in all German states.
Josephine Paul, Minister of Refugee Affairs in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, confirmed on Monday, December 18, in an interview with the German magazine “Der Spiegel,” that the reports received indicate that the situation of the Yazidis in northern Iraq is “worrying,” which prompted the state to adopt this measure.
“From the point of view of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Iraqi government is not in a position to guarantee the protection of religious minorities in many areas,” Paul added.
North Rhine-Westphalia is the only German state that has imposed an official ban on the deportation of members of the Yazidi minority.
Other states can decide to halt deportations for three months, which can be extended after that.
Paul was pushing for a ban in the German states, to no avail. Der Spiegel reported that Max Lucks, a Green Party parliamentarian, appealed to Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser to “consider the step taken by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as a call to find a long-term solution.”
Paul accused Faeser of inaction and called on her to create a “legally secure future” for the Yazidis in Germany.
The North Rhine-Westphalia state government did not reveal how many Yazidi women and children the statewide ban would affect, according to Der Spiegel.
The Yazidis are a Kurdish religious minority of hundreds of thousands of members. The Yazidi religion combines elements of various Middle Eastern religions, the most prominent of which are Islam and Christianity.
During January 2023, the German Parliament recognized the crimes of the terrorist organization ISIS against the Yazidis in northern Iraq and Syria as genocide. It was the first parliament of a European country to take this step.
Since then, Germany has hosted the largest Yazidi community in the world, and Parliament pledged to work hard to protect the lives of Yazidis in Germany.
It is worth noting that in northern Iraq, Yazidi women were raped and children were recruited and enslaved.
Human rights organizations say that thousands of Yazidi women have been kidnapped and trafficked by ISIS fighters.