The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

Denis Mukwege has devoted his life to defending victims of war-time sexual violence while Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against her and others. Murad is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the ISIS. The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.

Denis Mukwege has spent a large part of his adult life helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mukwege and his staff have treated thousands of patients who have fallen victim to such assaults.

He has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticised the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.

Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims. Following her escape from ISIS, Nadia Murad chose to speak openly about what she had suffered. In 2016, at the age of just 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

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