Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Amnesty International and Fat Rat Films have released a new documentary that highlights the ongoing struggles faced by Yezidi former child soldiers who survived abduction by the Islamic State (IS) armed group.
The 12-minute film, Captives on the Frontlines: Yezidi former child soldiers who survived ISIS, explores the friendship between Vian and Barzan, two young men who were abducted as boys by IS in 2014, indoctrinated into the armed group, and forced to fight. Both escaped and are now living in northern Iraq, where the documentary was filmed last year.
“This film captures the challenges still faced by Yezidi former child soldiers, and also the friendships that have flourished in the most difficult of circumstances,” said Nicolette Waldman, Researcher on Children and Armed Conflict on Amnesty International’s Crisis Response team.
ormer child soldiers are routinely stigmatized, which means their harrowing experiences are frequently kept in the shadows. By bravely sharing their own stories so openly, Vian and Barzan have helped shine a light on the struggles that remain for Yezidi former child soldiers today. Many of these young men, having endured unimaginable trauma, continue to have serious physical and mental health conditions.
The documentary was made in collaboration with award-winning documentary production company Fat Rat Films, and will be available here ahead of the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers on Saturday 12 February.