Nobel Peace Prize winners call for justice for victims of sexual violence

Dr. Denis Mukwege (left); Nadia Murad. Photos: Claude TRUONG-NGOC; Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

Dec. 10 (UPI) — The winners of the Nobel Peace Prize called for justice for victims of sexual violence throughout the world a day before receiving the award.

Iraqi activist Nadia Murad and Democratic Republic of the Congo doctor Denis Mukwege appeared together during a news conference at the Norwegian Nobel Institute Sunday, highlighting that justice has yet to be served in the cases that were the focus of their work.

Murad, a member of the Yazidi minority who survived sexual slavery under the Islamic State in 2014 and advocates for the group as well as for refugee and women’s rights, said no one was held accountable for the rape of Yazidi women and girls and 3,000 Yazidi women and girls remained in sexual captivity with IS fighters.

“We have not seen a single piece of justice in this light. We need to receive justice one day,” she said. “If it was not for our campaign over the past four years, we would not have seen the steps we have seen towards justice.”

Mukwege, a physician who has helped sex assault victims in the Congo, said justice must be included in any peace process.

“After the war ended, we have seen war lords reach the top of the state, and there was no discussion of justice, and violence has continued,” he said.

Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, issued a statement offering support for the two Nobel winners in their cause.

“This long overdue prize must be the beginning of a strengthened effort to protect women and men against sexual violence and abuse in wars, and to ensure that those who commit what is pure war crimes are held accountable. In too many conflicts, sexual violence is being used as a barbaric weapon of war, in breach of international laws and with the victims of these crimes suffering in silence,” England said.

Both Murad and Mukwege received the award for “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here