Partners: Tearfund and Queen Margaret University, supported by the Universities of Duhok and the American University of Kurdistan, in the Duhok Governorate

Location: Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Religions involved: Yezidi and Muslim research participants. Tearfund is a Christian faith-based organization.

The research conducted in 2016 used a participatory approach to map and compare levels of trust and social connection in displaced and host Yezidi communities. The research was developed to understand the pathways of connection and trust in communities and how they relate to people’s options for immediate basic needs, resolving disputes and gender-based violence (GBV).


Faith-related Recommendations

  • Create a setting in which religious leaders from the different faith communities can work together to help resolve disputes that cross religious divides.
  • Support community leaders including Mukhtars, religious leaders, tribal leaders and other elders in mediation and dispute resolution.
  • A gender-sensitive approach should be developed in order to work with faith leaders, community leaders, men and women within communities to identify and address harmful social and gender norms, strengthen community resilience, improve protection, and to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable are met.
  • Work with faith leaders within these communities, to address issues of stigma, and barriers within the ‘honour’ culture, to ensure that survivors of violence can safely access the services and support they need.
  • Recognise and build on existing efforts by faith leaders such as Baba Sheikh, who have publically established mechanisms for supporting and reintegrating Yezidi women and girls who have survived sexual violence and captivity.

Policy Brief

More from Tearfund’s program on social connection

Resource preview