Nadia Murad

Born:March 10, 1993 (age 31)

Nadia Murad is an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist and a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize with Denis Mukwege for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” She is the first Iraqi and Yazidi to be awarded a Nobel Prize.

Murad was born on March 10, 1993, in Kocho, Iraq. In 2014, she was kidnapped by Islamic State fighters who attacked her village and killed several hundred people, including her mother and six of her siblings. Held as a slave, she was able to escape after several months and eventually make her way to Germany.

In February 2015, Murad spoke with journalists from a Belgian newspaper about her experiences, and in December of that year spoke to the United Nations Security Council about human trafficking. In 2016, she was named the first UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. The same year, she sued ISIL commanders for their actions in genocide and human trafficking. Also in 2016, Murad founded Nadia's Initiative, an organization that provides advocacy and assistance to victims of genocide. In 2018, Murad was instrumental in drafting and passing UN Security Council Resolution 2379, which called for the creation of an investigative team to support efforts to hold ISIL accountable for its crimes.

Since being awarded the Nobel Prize, Murad has continued her activism against sexual violence and human trafficking. In 2019, she co-founded the Global Survivors Fund with Denis Mukwege and helped get UN Security Council Resolution 2467 passed to expand the UN’s commitment against sexual violence in conflict. She has spoken to numerous groups about her experiences and those of other Yazidi refugees, advocating for women’s rights legislation, accountability for those committing war crimes, and better support for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

Zeidan, A. (Jan. 1, 2023). “Nadia Murad: Iraqi human rights activist.” In Britannica. Retrieved on June 1, 2023, from

Photo: Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons