The UN is estimating that 3500 people in religious and ethnic groups are being held as slaves in Iraq alone, with as many as 18,800 total civilians having been killed since 2014. The UN is charging ISIS jihadists with, "war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide."
The UN Assistance Mission notes that those who have been enslaved by ISIS "are predominantly women and children and come primarily from the Yazidi community," though religious and ethnic minorities are also a part of that group.
The UN noted the "staggering" amount of "systemic and widespread violence" from May through October of 2015 by means of beheading, burning alive, bulldozing and shooting.
Of those who have been able to flee the violence, the UN estimates that 200,000 Christians and other ethnic groups have managed to escape since August of 2014, according to a UN human rights report. ISIS violence against the Yazidi community is thought to be the worst documented. The UN notes the "intent of ISIL to destroy the Yazidi as a group" and "acts of violence perpetrated against civilians because of their affiliation or perceived affiliation to an ethnic or religious group may constitute genocide."
Since June of last year, the UN has been able to verify that somewhere between 800 - 900 children were abducted in Mosul and forced into ISIS military training. Any who tried to fight back were beaten, tortured or raped.
Since August, the UN has been able to verify that 18 child soldiers were murdered after escaping from the front line in the Anbar province and returning to their homes. In another instance, child soldiers were even made to execute other ISIS fighters who attempted to escape or lost battles.
UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein released a statement in which he said, "Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq.
The figures capture those who were killed or maimed by overt violence, but countless others have died from the lack of access to basic food, water or medical care."
As for the EU, it's expected that parliament will vote on a resolution next month that addresses the persecution, torture and murder and genocide of Christians and citizens in Syria and Iraq.
ADF International Director of EU Advocacy Sophia Kuby said, "Christians in the Middle East urgently need this recognition to wake up the world to what is going on. In contrast to other diplomatic notions such as 'systematic mass murder,' 'genocide' is an internationally recognized legal term. It is necessary to call for further steps, such as a resolution at the U.N. Security Council and a referral to the International Criminal Court."
"All necessary criteria are fulfilled in order to recognize this as genocide," Kuby said. "To deny this only adds to the horrendous suffering that people are already experiencing."