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Eshoo, Smith Bill Providing Relief to Genocide Victims in Iraq and Syria to Become Law

November 27th, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) to provide emergency relief to victims of the ISIS genocide in Iraq and Syria passed the House of Representatives and will now be sent to the President for his signature.

H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act requires the U.S. government to direct humanitarian aid to entities assisting displaced religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria targeted for genocide by ISIS. The legislation also includes important provisions that will help the international community document the crimes against humanity that have been committed by ISIS, hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent another genocide from occurring.

“Tens of thousands of religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria were targeted for genocide by ISIS between 2014 and 2017,” Rep. Eshoo said. “As survivors return to their homes and begin rebuilding their communities, the United States government must make it a priority to help families in need of assistance now, while ensuring the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are held accountable. H.R. 390 will aid in these efforts and send a powerful message to these communities that we haven’t forgotten them. I thank Chairman Smith for his passionate leadership on this issue and I look forward to the President swiftly signing this legislation into law.”

“When genocide or other atrocity crimes are perpetrated, the United States should direct humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery aid to enable these people to survive–especially when they are minorities whose existence as a people is at-risk,” Rep. Smith stated on the House Floor before the vote. “HR 390 would ensure our actions match our words.”

H.R. 390 is supported by various groups, including the Knights of Columbus, Family Research Council, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (Southern Baptist Convention), In Defense of Christians, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, ADF International, Baylor University, Commission for International Justice and Accountability, Aid the Church in Need USA, Open Doors, Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Business Alliance, A Demand for Action, Yezidi Human Rights Organization International, Religious Freedom Institute, Center for Religious Freedom (Hudson Institute), Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Syrian Accountability Project, Genocide Watch, Civitas Maxima, Iraq Foundation, EPIC, Community of Sant’Egidio and International Christian Concern.

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