Nadia Murad - Human Trafficking Activist

Nadia Murad is an Iraqi Yazidi rights activist who lives in Germany. In 2014, at the age of 21, Murad was a student living in her hometown in Kojo when she was kidnapped by the Islamic State.

 

During her captivity, Murad was beaten, raped and burned with cigarettes. Murad described how the slave market opened at night for buyers in an interview with the Guardian; The militants scanned the room full of captured girls asking questions about the girls, enquiring if they were virgins and how old they were.

 

After a failed escape attempt, Murad was gang raped as punishment.

 

Murad eventually escaped when her captor left the door unlocked when he left. She fled to Germany in early 2015 as a refugee. Later in 2015, she began campaigning to raise awareness about human trafficking.

 

She went to Switzerland to speak to a UN Forum about minority issues. This was the first time she would speak about her experience. She wanted to create a safe zone for religious minorities in Iraq, to prosecute ISIS, and end genocide.

 

Murad was honest in her speech to the UN about how many times she was raped and beaten. She did not hold back as she wanted her story to be heard and for necessary action to happen.

 

Murad made history as the first ever Iraqi recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in which she donated her $500,000 winnings to victims of sex crimes.  She never wanted to be an activist, she aspired to be a teacher until her world was turned upside down. Murad lost six brothers who were killed at the hands of ISIS, however she said there are some families that have lost 10 members.

 

She became the first UN Goodwill Ambassador for survivors for trafficking in 2016, pressing her concerns about thousands of Yazidi women and girls held in camps. She has visited refugee camps and spoke to female survivors in a show of support.

 

In 2017, she wrote a memoir of her experience in her book called ‘The Last Girl’, named after how she wanted to be the last girl to experience something so horrific.

 

Nadia, who is now 25 years old, is currently requesting the US provide financial help for communities in Yazidi and her current work is updated regularly on twitter.

 

Murad has made it clear on Twitter that she wants ISIS to be brought to justice, not death but by trial in court. Nadia wants a world where women feel safe and this is the world she is campaigning for.

 

Murad still receives threats from ISIS, warning that they will recapture her.