The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.Both Mukwege and Murad made a crucial contribution to focus attention on combating war crimes. Both of them have helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.
Denis Mukwege :
• Denis Mukwege, a physician, has spent large parts 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. Most of the abuses were committed in the context of a long-lasting civil war that has cost the lives of more than six million Congolese.
Nadia Murad :
• Nadia Murad is a member of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, where she lived with her family in the village of Kocho.
• Nadia Murad is one of the 3000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the Islamic State (IS) army. The IS army launched a brutal attack on the villages of the Sinjar district to decimate the Yazidi population in August 2014.
• The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.