Nobel laureates Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad called on the world to protect victims of wartime sexual violence in their Peace Prize acceptance speeches yesterday, slamming indifference to the plight of women and children in conflict.
Congolese gynaecologist Mukwege, whose work has made him a global expert on rape in conflict, and Yazidi activist Murad, a survivor of IS sexual slavery, both said victims were sometimes valued less than commercial interests.
In an emotional ceremony, which saw the laureates cheered and given standing ovations, Mukwege and Murad called on the world to do more.
"If there is a war to be waged, it is the war against the indifference which is eating away at our societies," Mukwege said at the ceremony in Oslo.
His Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s war-torn east has treated the wounds of tens of thousands of women and children for sexual assaults that have become a "new reality" in the country.
He said the violence "shames our common humanity".
In her speech Murad implored the global community to help free hundreds of women and girls still held by jihadists, saying the world must protect her people and other vulnerable communities.