Dozens of members of the persecuted Yazidi religious minority group who had been enslaved by Isis have been freed, the United Nations has said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that 36 women and children who had been captured were being reunited with family members after reaching Dohuk, a Kurdish city north of Mosul, in Iraq.

The humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, said the UN was going to do "everything possible" for the rescued people who were being given lodging, clothing and medical aid.

"What these women and girls have endured is unimaginable," she said.

The UN would not specify if the Yazidis, who had been enslaved for three years, had escaped or been freed as it did not want to hinder future release efforts.

The UN has accused Isis of committing genocide against the Yazidis and estimate that up to 1,500 women and girls are still being held. The Yazidis' beliefs combine elements from several Middle Eastern religions and Isis considers them devil-worshippers.

They were enslaved and killed after the jihadists seized the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar in 2014.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has called on Iraq to allow a UN investigation into the crimes against Yazidi women.

Yazidi New Year
Displaced children from Yazidi sect celebrate the Yazidi New Year at Sharya refugee camp in Iraq Ari Jalal/Reuters