World: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad states the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified trafficking of women and gender-based violence, devising the well-being and protection of women “on the line”.
The 27-year-old activist, who was overpowered into sexual slaving by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq, told curfews, lockdowns and travel limitations forced by authorities to curb the spread of the virus “have had unintended outcomes on women globally”.
“Rather than subduing human trafficking and gender-based brutality, the pandemic has expanded the danger of exploitation and cruelty toward those most defenceless,” she said.
She said that several nations have witnessed the increases in reports of domestic violence since ever the COVID-19 pandemic began its spread.
She also added that Domestic stresses have raised in isolated living places and stay at home guidelines are further giving a boost to human trafficking underground, hidden from the sight of all law enforcement.
“The few sources earmarked for prevention, rescue and rehabilitation are implying spread thin,” she stated.
“As a consequence, women’s health and protection are on the road. It is now challenging for many women to access psychological support (and) health care.”
A division of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, Murad was amongst thousands of women and girls who were apprehended and overpowered into sexual slavery by Islamic State radicals in 2014.
Islamic State fighters killed her mother and six brothers. She converted an activist on the part of women and girls by escaping and getting refuge in Germany, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.
Murad addressed virtually at a UN meeting on Monday labelled ‘Locked Down and Locked-In: Standing Against Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking during the COVID-19 Pandemic.’