Germany opens its doors to Yazidi women and children enslaved by Isis | Lara Whyte


Secret shelters in Baden-Württemberg support some of the 2,500 deeply traumatised women and children who have escaped Isis in northern Iraq

From the outside, the shelter looks like a disused old people’s home. Inside, it is more like a busy playgroup. Children with new backpacks queue in pairs against a wall covered in their artwork, waiting to be taken to swimming lessons; football and skipping competitions take place in the corridors while groups of women, babies on their laps, sit huddled together on their phones.

The shelter, in a sleepy village hundreds of miles outside Stuttgart, is one of several dozen that has opened across the German region of Baden-Württemberg since spring last year as part of a special-quota project designed to support some of the estimated 2,500 women and children who have escaped after being held hostage by Islamic State.

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