ISIS survivor to become UN Goodwill ambassador

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Nadia Murad, a former Yezidi Sex Slave who was Kidnapped, Tortured and Raped Countless Times by ISIS, is to be appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL – Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Nadia Murad Basee Taha, will be appointed UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Ms. Murad, who hails from Shingal, survived enslavement by ISIS and subsequent depredations. 

Her appointment marks the first time a survivor of atrocities is being honoured with this distinction, according to the UNOD (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).  The induction ceremony will take place next Friday in the United Nations’ New York Headquarters, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace.

23-year-old Ms. Murad briefed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the first-ever session on human trafficking, on December 16, 2015. The UNSC’s presidency was then held by the United States. Ms. Murad described being rounded up with fellow Yezidis in Iraq in 2014 and witnessing a massacre as ISIS fighters shot men and boys in cold blood. She was subject to grave abuses at the hands of ISIS fighters and was bought and sold several times.

Nadia has become well-known among the Yezidi community as one of the few giving the Yezidis a voice in the international community.

“Nadia Murad could defeat all the enemies [of the Yezidis] by telling the international community about their story,” Saad Mirza, a Yezidi citizen of Shingal, told ARA News.

Nadia Murad also plays an important role in empowering women in the Yezidi community.

According to Qassim Shesho, a Yezidi Peshmerga commander from Shingal, both Iraqi MP Vian Dakhil and Nadia Murad played important roles in promoting the Yezidi rights after the Yezidi genocide that took place in Shingal in August 2014.

“Nadia shared her story with the international community,” Shesho told ARA News. “There is now a bigger role for women, and in the future, I am sure they will play an even a greater role.” 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “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.”

“Thousands of Yezidi women have been enslaved by a terrorist organization, IS, that is committing genocide. And yet no one is being held to account. I am honoured to represent Nadia in her courageous quest for legal accountability,” said Amal Clooney , an international human rights barrister and Nadia Murad’s attorney. 

Murad was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2016”.

She has met with several heads of state and global leaders to raise the plight of Yezidi victims of ISIS violence.

“During her Ambassadorship, Nadia will focus on advocacy initiatives and raise awareness around the plight of the countless victims of trafficking in persons, especially refugees, women and girls,” the UNOD said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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