Nadia Murad has called for the fight against sexual violence and genocide to go global. Murad, who is this year’s co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, also pledged to be a voice for victims around the world.
In her first public appearance since winning the award, Murad said she feels obligated to use her voice to defend the rights of those who are being persecuted all over the world.
"We must work together to put an end to genocide, hold accountable those who commit these crimes and achieve justice for the victims," said Murad. She addressed a packed audience at the National Press Club in Washington DC on October 8th.
The 25-year-old survivor is but one of thousands of women and young girls who were enslaved by Isis in 2014. Murad belongs to the Yazidi minority, an ancient religious minority who trace their roots to a number of small villages in a remote part of northern Iraq.
Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 5th, along with the Congo's Dr Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist who received the award for his treatment of victims of sexual violence.
Murad said that whilst she is honoured to be a Nobel recipient, there is much more that still needs to be done to bring those responsible for the crimes against her and other Yazidis to justice.
"So far we have not seen justice happen for the Yazidis, especially the victims of sexual slavery," she said. Murad went on to say that she would like to see individual members of Isis standing trial for their crimes.
In 2016, Murad was named the United Nation's first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
A UN investigation into crimes committed by Isis was formed in 2017. The investigative team began collecting and preserving evidence in August. Trials of Isis fighters conducted by Iraqi and Syrian forces have been criticised, as some human rights groups claim the confessions were often extracted under torture and that furthermore the trials were rushed and flawed.
According to AP, Murad has also called on the Iraqi government and the international community to rebuild Yezidi towns and villages that were destroyed in the war against Isis.
With almost no reconstruction funds or aid available, much of the Yazidi territory recaptured from Isis remains in ruins.
Murad outlined some plans to focus more on rebuilding Yezidi communities in Iraq. "But without peace, even if we rebuild, life is not possible," she added.