Nadia Murad, who hails from Iraq, escaped the Islamic State’s sex trafficking scheme in 2014 and went on to fight for human rights, receiving a Nobel Prize for her extraordinary efforts. To highlight how Nadia Murad won the prize and why deserves to be revered, we thought we’d share all of the reasons why she has it.
Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, with fellow winner, Denis Mukwege, who is a gynecologist known for working with victims who have suffered sexual violence in the Congo. The award was won by the pair for "their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. Each of them, in their own way, has helped to give greater visibility to wartime sexual violence,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Nobel Committee.
The young Yazidi prize winner was also made a Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2016 at the age of 25. She continues to focus on "advocacy initiatives and raising awareness around the plight of millions of victims of trafficking, especially refugees, women, and girls,” in her consistent fight against human trafficking and supporting the victims of the Islamic State.
Nadia Murad’s story is a harrowing one, as she was kidnapped by Daesh in the August of 2014 during a raid on her village in northern Iraq. The Islamic State (Daesh) referred to Yazidis as “infidels”, while “slaughtering Yazidi men and enslaving the women and children, whilst also tearing down their places of worship.” Since escaping, she has been raising awareness on a global scale with the aim for the attacks on the Yazidi community to be seen as genocide.
When Nadia first attempted to escape, she was repeatedly raped by men of the Islamic State present in that area, which is how they punished every woman that tried to escape them. Murad managed to escape after 3 months of physical torture.
How she escaped is another brave and inspiring part to her story, as she managed to contact a Muslim family who were against the Islamic State’s regime, and they helped her to make her way across the border and into a refugee camp by giving her an abaya and an Islamic ID. After reaching the camp, she was selected to partake in a program in which 1000 refugees were taken to Germany. Speaking to the BBC, the survivor stated, "Being in the hands of Daesh, we felt like we have already died. Most people die once in their lifetime, but we were dying every hour."
Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad
Nadia is represented by world famous lawyer, Amal Clooney, who said in a statement in 2019, as she addressed the UN members at their New York headquarters, "Justice isn't inevitable. It doesn't just happen. And it doesn't stand a chance if people in power, including those at this table, don't make it a priority.”