At the age of 19, Nadia Murad and some members of her family were kidnapped from their village of Kocho in northern Iraq. Held as a sex slave by fighters of the Islamic Stated, she was beaten, tortured, and repeatedly raped. Her bid for freedom after three months found her a refugee in Duhok, northern Iraq, before she was taken to Stuttgart, Germany. Once in Germany, she received medical treatment before being reunited with other survivors. Of her family, six of her nine brothers and her mother were killed the day she and her two sisters were taken by ISIS.
Vocal in her determination to make the world aware of the atrocities committed by ISIS, Nadia has committed herself to lead a campaign aimed at promoting peace by means of de-radicalization.
Nadia deems herself a survivor, not a victim. Her aim is to lift the veil on the torture and abuse suffered by men, women, and children by extremists while highlighting the plight of marginalized ethnic and religious minority groups.
Nadia’s courage in speaking out and her efforts to put the world’s focus on the genocide taking place in her own country at the UNO, saw her nominated by Iraq for the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the Council of Europe Vaclav Havel Award for Human Rights.
Nadia wishes to advocate for human rights and the condemnation of extremism, especially that which is aimed at women and children.
A survivor, Nadia wants to spread her message, standing up for those who unable to speak for themselves.
She had been interviewed a number of times, telling her story and bringing the world’s attention to a plight so few report on.
'Being a survivor of genocide comes with great responsibility --for I am the lucky one. Having lost my brothers, mother and many more family members and friends it is a responsibility I embrace fully and take very seriously. My role as an activist is not just about my suffering -- it is about a collective suffering. Telling my story and reliving the horrors I encountered is no easy task, but the world must know. The world must feel a moral responsibility to act and if my story can influence world leaders to act then it must be told.'