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Nadia Murad honored with Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize

By WITW Staff on October 11, 2016

For the second time in the last month, the global community recognized the courage and selflessness of Nadia Murad on Monday by awarding her the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. Murad, 23, is a survivor of ISIS atrocities. She was captured by militants in 2014 when the terror group stormed the Sinjar region of Iraq and slaughtered many Yazidis, while enslaving others. Murad was forced to live as a sex slave to ISIS militants until she was able to escape and flee to Germany. Since then, she’s been an outspoken advocate on behalf of the Yazidi people who are still being held by ISIS, advocating for the global community to do more to defeat ISIS.

Last month, Murad was appointed by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking — the first time a survivor of atrocities has been bestowed with this distinction. And at an event held by Women in the World founder Tina Brown, she announced her new advocacy organization, Nadia’s Initiative.

The prize is named for Vaclav Havel, the renowned Czech writer and dissident who went on to become president of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. In her remarks as she accepted the prize, Murad said she felt a connection to Havel through  “tragedy, injustice and the search for a glimmer of hope in darkness.”

Murad appeared onstage at the Women in the World London Forum last Thursday. “I’m from a farming family. We had a simple life. We were very poor, but we were very happy before Daesh came,” she told the audience there, using an alternate name for ISIS, before elaborating on the horrific experiences she and her family members were subjected to in captivity. Watch the full forum below.

Women in the World, London Forum – 6 October 2016

Welcome to London, where we’re exclusively streaming the first #WITW Forum on Facebook LIVE in partnership with @Edelman UK! We’ll have a number of incredible speakers joining us onstage tonight including: Founder Tina Brown, Ed Williams CEO, Edelman UK & Ireland, UN Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, Baroness Valerie Amos, Executive Director, World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin, Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko, First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani and Actress Rosamund Pike.

Posted by Women in the World on Thursday, October 6, 2016

Read the full story at The New York Times.


Amal Clooney representing ISIS survivor Nadia Murad and victims of Yazidi genocide

Watch Yazidi activist and sex slavery survivor Nadia Murad’s powerful message to ISIS

U.N. report finds nearly 2,000 Yazidi women still enduring slavery at hands of ISIS