Back to Publications

Case 8 “On Civilian Harm”: Genocide

When ISIS surrounded Sinjar district in 2014, it soon became clear that the many Yazidis who called this area home were not safe. The violence that ISIS unleashed upon them has since been acknowledged as genocide by an independent, UN-mandated commission. Many Yazidis continue to this day to struggle with severe psychological trauma, and remain stuck in displacement camps with little prospect of education or livelihood, and with limited access to basic needs. The chapter "Genocide: Targeted violence against the Yazidis from Sinjar (Iraq, 2014)" considers both the immediate violence perpetrated by ISIS, as well as the often-neglected aftermath and underestimated longevity of this type of civilian harm.

In ‘On Civilian Harm’, we explore the ways in which civilians are negatively affected by violent conflict, offer tools and language to discuss the phenomenon, make practical recommendations for civilian harm mitigation and raise questions for further debate. The book contains in-depth analysises of 13 particular events in which harm to civilians occurred as a consequence of use of armed violence. Taken together, they contribute to an increased understanding of the variety and complexity of civilian harm at a conceptual level, bringing out common traits and patterns on civilian harm in violent conflict.

About this report

Date of publication:

Jun 10, 2021


Erin Bijl (PAX)


PAX Protection of Civilians

More about the book 'On Civilian Harm'
Case 8 “On Civilian Harm”: Genocide

Jun 10, 2021, Erin Bijl (PAX)

Read the document here