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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leaves Audience In Tears With Emotional Address

Nadia Murad was captured by ISIS militants and kept as a sex slave for months, after being forced to witness six of her brothers killed by her captors.

In a moving speech delivered following her acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, the activist spoke of her fight to bring recognition for her native Yazidi community.

Murad said more than 6000 Yazidi women and children have been sold, bought and sexually and psychologically abused in a matter of years, while thousands of men have been slaughtered.

The 24-year-old told the delegation that she grew up in her native Iraqi village of Kojo, dreaming of opening up her own beauty parlour when she finished school.

"I did not know anything about the Nobel Peace Prize," Murad said.

"I knew nothing about the conflicts and killings that took place in our world every day."

Murad said as a result of multiple "campaigns of genocide" the number of Yazidi people around the world has decreased significantly.

According to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Syria where there were once 80,000 Yazidis,  now remain only 5,000.

Her powerful address slammed local and international governments for standing "idly by watching the annihilation of a complete community," and left many in the audience visibly moved and wiping tears.

"Young girls at the prime of life are sold, bought, held captive and raped every day. It is inconceivable that the conscience of the leaders of 195 countries around the world is not mobilised to liberate these girls," she said.

"What if they were a commercial deal, an oil field or a shipment of weapons? Most certainly, no efforts would be spared to liberate them."

Murad, who won the prize alongside fellow advocate against sexual violence, Dr Denis Mukwege -- said the international community must hold to account those who have used sexual violence as a weapon against women and children.

Nobel prize laureates Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege and Iraqi Yazidi-Kurdish human rights activist Nadia Murad. Photo: Getty Images

"Thank you very much for this honour, but the fact remains that the only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice and the prosecution of criminals," she said in her emotional address.

"There is no award that can compensate for our people and our loved ones who were killed solely because they were Yazidis."

She also thanked the governments who had formally recognised the Yazidi genocide, as well as those who had hosted victims, including Australia and Canada.

An emotional Amal Clooney was also in the audience to support Murad, who thanked the prominent human rights lawyer.

Photo: HAAKON MOSVOLD LARSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Clooney has been representing Murad since 2016 in her fight to bring ISIS perpetrators accountable for the atrocities committed against minority communities.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner received a standing ovation from the attendees in Oslo, Norway.

contact the author: vgerova@networkten.com.au