Saturday, 06 October 2018 20:14

Special Representative Patten congratulates Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege on being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end sexual violence in conflict

New York, 05 October 2018: The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Pramila Patten, warmly congratulates long-standing partners of her Office Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege on being awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war and terrorism.

Nadia Murad, who was abducted by ISIL in 2014 and held in sexual slavery, has become an activist and defender of human dignity who has given voice to the plight of the persecuted Yazidi community. Her courageous advocacy has spurred global efforts to investigate and prosecute these crimes and to shift the blame, shame and stigma from the victims to the perpetrators.

Dr. Denis Mukwege, a renowned gynaecologist, surgeon and founder of Panzi Hospital in the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, has restored health and hope to countless survivors of sexual violence, helping them to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of unspeakable atrocities.

Both Ms. Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege have spoken out about the pervasiveness of rape in war and the vicious cycle of impunity that perpetuates these crimes. Despite threats to their personal safety, they have addressed the United Nations and travelled the world advocating on behalf of sexual violence survivors.

Ten years ago, with the adoption of resolution 1820 in 2008, the United Nations Security Council recognized conflict-related sexual violence as a self-standing threat to security and impediment to the restoration of peace. The UN’s signature Stop Rape Now campaign called for the categorical prohibition of sexual violence as a war crime, a crime against humanity, and an act of genocide to be integrated into global peace and security policy. Indeed, sexual violence is a silent, cheap and effective weapon with devastating effects for individuals, the cohesion of families and communities, and the prospects of inclusive and durable peace. Aside from the medical consequences, such as sexually transmitted diseases, traumatic fistulae and unwanted pregnancies, rape and other forms of sexual violence lead to long-lasting trauma and suffering, often compounded by social stigma and shame.

“Today’s recognition of two champions in the fight to end wartime rape is an inspiration for all of us working in this field,” says Special Representative Patten. “This year’s Nobel Peace Prize shines a spotlight on a crime that has long been hidden in the shadows of history and sends a strong message that all the women, girls, men and boys who have suffered sexual violence deserve justice and redress,” concludes Special Representative Patten.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Ms. Géraldine Boezio, Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Tel: +1 917 367 3306 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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