Nobel-winner Murad launches new bid to protect sexual violence victims

Nobel-winner Murad launches new bid to protect sexual violence victims
Nadia Murad FILE

Agency Report

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad joined forces with Britain to present a global code of conduct to the United Nations on Wednesday to address sexual violence in conflict.

The document is called the "Murad Code," after the Iraqi Yazidi advocate who was held as a sex slave by the Islamic State group.

It aims to boost efforts to seek justice for surviving victims via recovery of evidence, allowing victims to safely testify and minimize psychological and physical consequences on them.

"Efforts to end sexual violence are gaining momentum, in large part thanks to brave survivors around the world who have shared their stories," noted Murad at an annual Security Council meeting on sexual violence in conflict.

"But too often, reporting sexual violence has negative consequences for survivors.

"The Murad Code lays out clear and practical guidelines for centering the needs of survivors when collecting evidence, and ensuring that they receive justice and support, rather than repercussions. Survivors deserve at least that," she added.

In a joint statement, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss denounced the "growing number of reports of sexual violence by Russian forces" in the war in Ukraine.

"The launch of the Murad Code is a vital step towards helping and supporting survivors and bringing perpetrators to justice for their crimes," she said.

London plans to host an international conference on sexual violence in conflict this year.

AFP

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