Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist who escaped ISIS captivity, spoke at the annual Stanford Global Studies student dinner on April 17. She was accompanied by Haider Elias, co-founder of Yazda Organization.
“If we do not bring ISIS to justice, we legitimize them as a force,” Nadia Murad told a crowded room of Stanford Global Studies students, staff, and faculty this week. Murad, a Yazidi woman in her early twenties, was born and raised in a small village in northern Iraq. In 2014, she was kidnapped and held captive by ISIS, when the militant group invaded her homeland as part of a campaign that displaced thousands of Yazidis — an ancient religious group.
Following her escape, she briefed the UN Security Council in the first-ever session on human trafficking, and in 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime appointed her Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. As Goodwill Ambassador, Murad focuses on advocacy and raising awareness of the millions of victims of trafficking, particularly refugees, women, and children. One of her current priorities is to persuade the United States and other world governments to create a protected zone with a peacekeeping force in the area of northern Iraq that the Yazidi people and other minority communities have called home for thousands of years.