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Perwin

There is an estimated 520,000 people in enslavement in the Arab States. Within the region, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen had both the highest prevalence of modern slavery and the highest absolute number of victims, accounting for 76 percent of the victims in the region. There is an estimated 174,000 people enslaved in Iraq (GSI 2018). In August 2014, IS invaded the province of Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mostly Yezidis, a traditional religious community with ancient customs live there. Over 6,000 Yezidis were abducted. In early 2016 Sinjar was liberated by Kurdish Peshmergas. Many young women used by IS as slaves returned to their region.

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Cemila

There is an estimated 520,000 people in enslavement in the Arab States. Within the region, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen had both the highest prevalence of modern slavery and the highest absolute number of victims, accounting for 76 percent of the victims in the region. There is an estimated 174,000 people enslaved in Iraq (GSI 2018). In August 2014, IS invaded the province of Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mostly Yezidis, a traditional religious community with ancient customs live there. Over 6,000 Yezidis were abducted. In early 2016 Sinjar was liberated by Kurdish Peshmergas. Many young women used by IS as slaves returned to their region.

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Ilham

There is an estimated 520,000 people enslaved in the Arab States. Within the region, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen had both the highest prevalence of modern slavery and the highest absolute number of victims, accounting for 76 percent of the victims in the region. There is an estimated 174,000 people enslaved in Iraq (GSI 2018). In August 2014, IS invaded the province of Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mostly Yezidis, a traditional religious community with ancient customs live there. Over 6,000 Yezidis were abducted. In early 2016 Sinjar was liberated by Kurdish Peshmergas. Many young women used by IS as slaves returned to their region.

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Rozina

The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking people who live principally in northern Iraq – where there are around 500,000-600,000. There are another 200,000 settled in other parts of the world. The Yazidis have faced extreme persecution and marginalization in their home communities within Iraq due to their religion and beliefs. Starting in August 2014, ISIS has continuously targeted Yazidis in Iraq and Syria in its campaign to “purify” the region: kidnapping, raping, and forcing girls and women into sexual slavery, and murdering men in mass killings. In 2015, news reports revealed the discovery of a mass grave believed to have remains from more than 70 Yazidi women from Kocho village, where “Rozina” is from.

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Arwa

ISIS has singled out the Yezidi minority, notably its women and children, for particularly brutal treatment. In August 2014, ISIS fighters abducted hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidi men, women and children who were fleeing the IS takeover from the Sinjar region, in the north-west of the country. Hundreds of the men were killed and others were forced to convert to Islam under threat of death. Younger women and girls, some as young as 12, were separated from their parents and older relatives and sold, given as gifts or forced to marry ISIS fighters and supporters. Arwa was abducted in August 2014 in a village south of Mount Sinjar with scores of her relatives and hundreds of neighbours. She was held in ISIS captivity in various places in Syria and Iraq, where she was raped, before escaping. Sixty-two of her relatives, including her mother and siblings, are still in ISIS hands. She was 15 years old during her enslavement and when she told her story in late 2014.