Integration And Sponsorship Project
Since 2014, the number of Ezidi refugees has continued to grow in France and in Europe. The specific case of religious minorities in the Middle East, particularly at the time of the expansion of Daesh in the region, mobilized civil society and certain European leaders; some having launched special integration programs for victims of the Islamic State. This is the case in France, where President Emmanuel Macron, responding to the call of Nadia Murad, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has decided to welcome 100 Ezidi families.
Although this program has enabled the rapid arrival of many people and the facilitation of certain administrative processes, it remains, like the European welcoming system, incomplete. Many people were left without French lessons and no real action was taken to facilitate the integration of families.
Our actions :
Voice of Ezidis focuses on the sponsorship, integration and protection of Ezidis in France. We also support the ezidis still in Iraq by facilitating family reunification files and providing administrative assistance.
We support the integration of ezidis in France through administrative assistance, through inclusion within the host community and through advocacy work to assert their rights.
What we have done :
-Voice of Ezidis, attached to its work in the field, has been able, hand in hand with local associations, to create a network of exchanges and intercultural mutual aid in certain regions of France. This is the case, for example, with the city of Valence, where strong relations of friendship and mutual support have been created since the arrival of the Ezidi families.
-During the pandemic, we were also able to provide concrete help to 68 families by providing translations, creating direct links between families, host organizations and communities.
-Since its creation, Voice of Ezidis has, through its sponsorship program, supported more than 130 families, in collaboration with host organizations or individual sponsors. To do so, the volunteers visited 87 women and their families across France. These visits enabled us to draw up 28 asylum files for women who still have relatives in Iraq.
-For the moment, Voice of Ezidis remains the only French association actively dealing with issues of sponsorship, inclusion and protection of Ezidis people in France. In doing so, we rely on a young and multicultural team and promote the field method in order to stay closer to the people we support.
What remains to be done :
Despite President Macron's hosting program, many Ezidis are still in danger around the world. Indeed, there are more than 2,000 women still in captivity, 90 mass graves that do not allow families to mourn, and the vast majority of ezidi people still living in camps for the displaced.
The administrative shortcomings, the invisibility of the ezidi community and the psychological distress of many of its members are challenges that we have yet to overcome.
-Although many families have found asylum in France, the atrocities suffered by the ezidi people are still too present to allow some of them to rebuild themselves. The asylum system currently has no, or very little, psychological support allowing the integration of ezidi families.
Voice of Ezidis aims to provide psychological or medical assistance to Ezidis, victims of both individual and community-wide trauma. To do this, the association works in collaboration with several psychiatrists and volunteers to organize long-term help and support for anyone who requests it.
-In 2021, the Iraqi State launched a reparation program for ezidi women who were victims of Islamic State abuse. This program provides, among other things, financial compensation and social and psychological support.
Many Ézidi women refugees in France are eligible for this programme but, given their refugee status prohibiting them from returning or entering into contact with the authorities of their country of origin, many are deprived of it.
These women are the only ones who can benefit from this program or who have power of attorney.
Thus, Voice of Ezidis is working to alert on the effectiveness of this aid for women residing in France and wishes to summon the actors concerned so that, in compliance with the laws, these women can finally obtain compensation.