A Young Iraqi Izadi woman, who survived sex slavery at the hands of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, has become the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
The horrific story of the 23-year-old Nadia Murad Basee Taha began on August 3, 2014, when Takfiris raided her home village of Kocho, near the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, killing hundreds of men, including six of Nadia’s brothers, and captured her along with dozens of other women of the village.
She was then taken to Mosul, Daesh’s de facto capital on Iraqi soil, and was subjected to gang rape and repeatedly traded as a sex slave by the terrorists until her escape in November the same year.
After escaping Daesh captivity, Nadia went to Stuttgart, Germany, where she received medical care for her wounds. Then she traveled to the United States to become an activist to raise consciousness in particular about the gruesome crimes committed by the Takfiris against Izadi women, and to advocate ending human trafficking.
In January, the Iraqi government nominated Nadia for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for her activism, and on Friday, she was formally appointed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
‘Voice of the voiceless’
“This designation marks the first time a survivor of atrocities is bestowed with this distinction. Ms. Murad, a 23-year-old Izadi woman, briefed the Security Council in its first-ever session on human trafficking last December,” said UN in a statement.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also said in the induction ceremony in New York that he recognized Nadia to serve as a voice for the voiceless.
“Nadia survived horrific crimes. I cried when I heard her story. But I didn’t only cry out of sadness. I was also moved to tears because Nadia has so much strength, courage, and dignity. She rightly calls for a world where all children live in peace,” Ban added.
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, for his part, also said “Nadia’s appointment as a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador provides a unique opportunity to urge others to join us in our fight against human trafficking. We know that Nadia’s extraordinary commitment to the plight of trafficking victims will move people to take action against this scourge.”
Thousands more still captive’
At the UN headquarters, Nadia said that terrorists had used her the way they had wanted to, adding that she was by no means alone there.
“Perhaps I was the lucky one. As time passed, I found a way to escape where thousands of others could not. They are still captive,” she added.
In August 2014, Daesh terrorists overran Sinjar and systematically massacred, captured and enslaved thousands of Izadis. The UN says about 5,000 Izadi men were killed and thousands more, mostly women and children, were taken into captivity.
Over the past few months, several mass graves containing bodies of people, including members of the Izadi minority group, have been uncovered in Iraq and Syria.
Last month, a UN investigative panel warned that Daesh was still committing genocide and other crimes against the Izadi minority group in Iraq.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh began its campaign in June 2014. The militants have been committing heinous crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.
The Iraqi army and fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have made significant gains against the Takfiris in joint operations.