The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Congolese physician, Dr Denis Mukwege and sexual violence survivor, Nadia Murad for their efforts “to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.
Dr Mukwege has devoted much of his adult life to helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and together with staff at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, has treated thousands of patients who have experienced sexual assaults. The committee highlighted how he has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and been critical of the failures of countries to do enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.
Nadia Murad was abducted by Islamic State members in 2014, but managed to flee following a three-month ordeal during which she was repeatedly subjected to rape and other abuses. Following her escape, she chose to speak openly about her experiences.
The committee described how both laureates had put their personal security at risk by “courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims” and in doing so had “promoted the fraternity of nations through the application of principles of international law".