Help Yazidi Refugees Reunite with Family

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THE YAZIDI PEOPLE IN CANADA NEED YOUR HELP!

The Yazidi Association of Manitoba calls upon the Canadian government to make special provisions to the family reunification policies for Yazidi refugees. The current policy allows refugees to sponsor their immediate family members to Canada within one year of their arrival, using personal funds.

We ask the government to consider the special circumstances of Yazidi refugees:

·      expand the definition of “family” for Yazidi refugees who lost their entire immediate family.

·      expand the time span in which Yazidi refugees could sponsor family members. 

·      assist in financing the sponsorship of family members.

Many Yazidis who survived the latest Genocide in 2014 lost their entire immediate family or do not know their whereabouts . Their family members may appear at any time if they are released or if they escape captivity. Sometimes the only live relatives are not first degree relatives and therefore are not considered immediate family members. Accordingly, they cannot be sponsored as refugees.

The current “one year provision” of the Canadian Family Reunification Policy prevents Yazidi refugees from sponsoring the remaining members of their families. This affects the healing process of the Yazidi community in Canada, especially the healing of girls who were used as sex slaves and are suffering from  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The separation from their remaining family members makes it very difficult for them to adjust to their new lives in Canada. Mental health professionals have tried various therapeutic approaches with limited success. They have concluded that the support of family is the most important factor for their recovery.

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The Yazidis are members of a religious minority living primarily in northern Iraq and parts of Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus. They have lived in these regions for thousands of years. Over the years the population of Yazidis has declined from approximately 23 million to less than one million due to continued persecution.
The latest attack by ISIS on Aug. 03, 2014 was the most devastating to the Yazidis and their communities in Iraq. The United Nations Human Rights Council called this attack a GENOCIDE.
ISIS executed thousands of Yazidi men, Enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and children and uprooted ancient communities. Today, over 300,000 Yazidis live in refugee camps, hoping to be sponsored by members of the free world.

Almost 3000 Yazidi children and women remain unaccounted for. They are still living in captivity and many are serving as sex slaves.


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