STAND Canada’s Executive Director, Scott Fenwick, issued the following statement in response to today’s defeat of a House of Commons motion condemning Islamic State’s crimes against humanity, use of sexual violence, and confirmation that their atrocities constitute genocide:
Although this motion was defeated on the grounds that there is too little evidence proving that Islamic State is committing genocide, what matters most is action on possible and proven genocide. The fact that Global Affairs Canada reports no “operational” humanitarian assistance projects currently within Syria is concerning, and merits an explanation. To date, Syria has over 6.5 million internally displaced people and over 151,000 people have died between 2014 the present.
Canada taking ‘action’ also means using multi-pronged approaches to stopping IS, and exploring solutions beyond the current approach of using military trainers and air strikes.
Canada must push for more investigation on whether IS has committed genocide so that evidence and testimonies can be collected to establish the facts as quickly as possible. Given that the Minister of Foreign Affairs only wrote to the United Nations Security Council about this last week, Canada is playing catch-up.