SULAYMANIYAH - Yazidi campaigners are calling for world leaders to declare their treatment by Islamic State as genocide to escalate obligations for the international community to prevent crimes against them and punish those victimizing women and children.
Islamic State militants have killed, raped and enslaved thousands of Yazidis since 2014, forcing over 400,000 of the religious minority group to flee their homes in northern Iraq, accusing them of being devil worshipers.
According to the United Nations, the Sunni militants enslaved about 7,000 women and girls in 2014, mainly Yazidis whose faith blends elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam, and is still holding 3,500, some as sex slaves.
But while the United States, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have all described the Islamist militant group's actions as genocide, other countries are yet to follow.
Yazidi campaigners are pushing for international justice for the crimes committed against them by Islamic State.