Sunday, October 30, 2016

Positive Quiddity: Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad Basee Taha (Kurdish: نادیە موراد / Nadîye Murad‎; born 1993) is a Yazidi human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and since September 2016 the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations. She was kidnapped and held by the Islamic State in August 2014.


In August 2014, 21 year old Murad was a student living in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq when Islamic State fighters rounded up the Yazidi community in the village killing 600 people – including six of Nadia's brothers and stepbrothers – and taking the younger women into slavery. That year Murad was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women taken prisoner by Islamic State in Iraq. She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped when trying to escape. In November 2014, Nadia was able to escape after her captor left the house unlocked. She was taken in by a neighbouring family who were able to smuggle her out of the Islamic State controlled area, allowing her to make her way to a refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq, and then to Stuttgart, Germany.


In 16 December 2015, Murad briefed the United Nations Security Council on the issue of human trafficking and conflict, the first time the Council was briefed on human trafficking. As part of her role as an ambassador, Murad will participate in global and local advocacy initiatives to bring awareness of human trafficking and refugees. Murad reaches out to refugee and survivor communities, listening to testimonies of victims of trafficking and genocide.

As of September 2016, Attorney Amal Clooney spoke before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discuss the decision she made in June 2016 to represent Murad as a client in legal action against ISIL commanders. Clooney characterized the genocide, rape, and trafficking as a "bureaucracy of evil on an industrial scale" by ISIL, describing a slave market existing both online, on Facebook and in the Mideast that is still active today. Murad has received serious threats to her safety as a result of her work.

In September 2016, Murad announced Nadia's Initiative at an event hosted by Tina Brown in New York City. The initiative will provide advocacy and assistance to victims of genocide.


  • 5 January 2016: 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nomination by the Iraqi government for activism. A Norwegian lawmaker, Audun Lysbakken, Norwegian MP representing Socialist Left, seconded the nomination
  • 16 September 2016: First Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations
  • 10 October 2016: Council of Europe Vaclav Havel Award for Human Rights
  • 27 October 2016: Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (with Lamiya Aji Bashar)

No comments:

Post a Comment