Vian Darwish

Yazidi human rights defender

Region(s): Global, Middle East
Country of focus: Iraq
Based in Iraq

Vian Darwish (@DarwishVian) is a Yazidi human rights defender and activist in Iraq.

She was the advocacy and outreach officer and program coordinator of the Yazidi Survivors Network at Yazda Global Organization from January.

She is based in Duhok in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq after she was displaced from her hometown Sinjar because of ISIS atrocities.

Vian has advocated for the rights of Yazidi and survivors from other minorities since August 2014, before her graduation from Duhok University college where she studied in the Basic Education/ English language department.

She previously worked as a coordinator and documenter in Yazda’s documentation project, which gathers information on Islamic State crimes against Yazidis in the genocide that began in August 2014.

In that role, Vian spoke to many ISIS survivors, especially women and children. She has extensive knowledge about the Yazidi genocide and received training on interviewing techniques, documentation of crimes of sexual and gender-based violence, and documentation of crime scenes.

Vian advocates implementation of the Yazidi Female Survivors Law that would provide reparations for female survivors from all the minorities. This law was adopted by the Iraqi Parliament in March, 2021. She also advocates for other elements of transitional justice and peace building in Iraq.