PUBLIC LAW 115-300 * DECEMBER 11, 2018
Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act
Prime Sponsor: Mr. Christopher H. Smith (NJ)
H.R. 390-Signed by the President on December 11, 2018
Section 1. Short Title. States aim of bill is “To provide relief for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes who are members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iraq and Syria, for accountability for perpetrators of these crimes, and for other purposes.”
Section 2. Findings. Identifies the need for the bill, including ISIS committing genocide and other atrocity crimes against religious and ethnic minorities, like Christians, Yezidis, and Shia, in Iraq and Syria; the significant drop in the number of Christians in both countries fluctuating number of Yezidis in Iraq; and emergency needs of these communities.
Section 3. Definitions. Defines terms used in the bill, including “appropriate Congressional committees,” “humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs,” “hybrid court,” and “internationalized domestic court.”
Section 4. Statement of Policy. States that it is the policy of the United States to direct humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery assistance to those Iraqis and Syrians in greatest need, including individuals from, and communities of, “religious and ethnic minorities…that the Secretary of State declared were targeted for genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes, and have been identified as being at risk of persecution, forced migration, acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.”
Section 5. Actions to Promote Accountability in Iraq for Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and War Crimes. Authorizes the Secretary of State and Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide assistance to entities, including NGOs, for activities to address ISIS-committed genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq. These activities include conducting criminal investigations and collecting and preserving evidence for use in criminal trials of suspected perpetrators.
Directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the FBI, to encourage foreign governments to include in their security databases and security screenings identifying information about suspected ISIS perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq, and to apprehend and prosecute such individuals for these crimes.
Section 6. Identification of and Assistance to Address Humanitarian, Stabilization, and Recovery Needs of Certain Persons in Iraq and Syria. Authorizes the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, Administrator of USAID, and Director of National Intelligence, to:
· Identify threats of persecution and other early warning indicators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes against Iraqi and Syrian religious or ethnic minorities that ISIS targeted for these crimes.
· Identify Iraqi and Syrian religious or ethnic minority groups against which ISIS committed atrocity crimes and are at risk of forced migration.
· Identify humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs of these individuals and groups and the assistance provided by the U.S., and by and through the United Nations, to address their needs and mitigate the risks of forced migration.
· Identify as practicable and appropriate, entities, including faith-based ones, that are providing humanitarian, stabilization, or recovery assistance to meet these needs and U.S. assistance to or through these entities.
Authorizes the Secretary of State and Administrator of USAID to provide assistance to entities providing humanitarian, stabilization, or recovery assistance to members of Iraqi and Syrian religious or ethnic minorities that have been subjected to ISIS genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.
Section 7. Reports. Directs the Secretary of State to submit to the appropriate Congressional committees a report, in unclassified form with a classified annex if necessary, with steps taken and proposed to implement the act, an assessment of domestic courts in Iraq, hybrid courts, and internationalized domestic courts, to try suspected ISIS perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes in Iraq and what is needed to effectively investigate and prosecute such suspects.
Directs the Secretary of State to include in the report “recommendations for legislative remedies and administrative actions to facilitate implementation.”
Text of Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act.