Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a 23-year-old Yazidi woman who survived trafficking and sexual abuse at the hands of ISIL, has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.
Murad advocates for those persecuted by ISIL in Iraq and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work.
“As you have heard, on the night of August 3, 2014, everything changed,” she told an audience at United Nations headquarters in New York.
“Daesh (ISIL) came to kidnap, to murder, to rape. This was genocide. It is that simple. In a matter of days if not hours, thousands of Yazidis were killed and thousands of women and children were taken just because they were Yazidis.
“I was taken to Mosul with others, I was used in the way they wanted to use me, I was not alone, and perhaps I was the lucky one. As time passed I found a way to escape, whereas thousands of others could not. They are still captive.”
Her official title is Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, making her the first survivor of atrocities to be bestowed with such a distinction.
ISIL considers the Yazidi population ‘non-believers,’ because they are not Muslim.
Murad was among thousands from the ethnic Kurdish minority to be rounded up by ISIL in 2014. In August that year, the militant group killed some 5,000 Yazidi men who had become stranded in the Sinjar Mountains, in northern Iraq.
Thousands more have been displaced.