83 percent of Yazidi refugees in Germany were granted protection status in 2017. That’s a 12 percent drop compared with the previous year.
In 2015, the protection rate for Yazidis was close to 100 percent (97.4 percent), according to an inquiry submitted by Germany's Left party to the Federal Foreign Office. The decline over the next two years was in part due to the fact that more Yazidis came from so-called safe countries of origin such as Russia, Georgia or Turkey. Coming from these countries, they have less chance of receiving a positive asylum decision.
However, Yazidis from Iraq are also seeing declining protection rates. The German government does not consider Yazidis currently in Iraqi Kurdistan as a persecuted group, according to Catholic news agency KNA. Meanwhile, almost all Yazidis from Syria were granted protection. In total, 23,056 Yazidis were granted protection status in Germany in 2017.
Left party parliamentarian Ulla Jelpke called the declining trend a "human rights political scandal", in particular because of a resurgence in terror by the "Islamic state" in northern Iraq.
Over 3,000 remain in captivity
The majority of Yazidis live in northern Iraq, Syria or in Turkey. Beginning in 2014, the extremist IS began to persecute them, considering them non-believers who should be converted or killed. The IS perpetrated genocide in an attack on Sinjar on August 3, 2014, in which around 5,000 Yazidi men were murdered and up to 7,000 women and children kidnapped, according to UN estimates.
Thousands of women and girls of the Yazidi faith were abducted, tortured and sexually abused by IS fighters and around 3,000 remain in captivity, according to Thomson Reuters.
Germany hosts the world's largest Yazidi diaspora, estimated at 60,000 people.