Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 August 2019

'Justice isn't inevitable': Amal Clooney makes impassioned plea on behalf of sexual violence victims

The human rights lawyer delivered a moving speech alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad at the UN

Amal Clooney speaks during a Security Council meeting on sexual violence at United Nations headquarters. AP
Amal Clooney speaks during a Security Council meeting on sexual violence at United Nations headquarters. AP

She has long defended females around the world in her role as a human rights lawyer, and this week Amal Clooney took a stand on behalf of Yazidi women and girls.

The Lebanon-born barrister was speaking at the United Nations headquarters on Tuesday, where the Security Council was voting on a resolution on sexual violence in war.

Clooney, 41, was joined by her client Nadia Murad, the Iraqi Yazidi activist once held as a sex slave by ISIS, who was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

“This is your Nuremberg moment. Justice isn't inevitable. It doesn't just happen. And it doesn't stand a chance if people in power, including those at this table, don't make it a priority,” said Clooney, as she appealed for UN members to vote in favour of a resolution against sexual violence in conflict.

Amal Clooney is pictured at the United Nations Security Council during a meeting about sexual violence in conflict in New York, New York, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Amal Clooney at the United Nations Security Council meeting, alongside Nadia Murad. Reuters

“This is your chance to stand on the right side of history. You owe it to Nadia and the thousands of women and girls who must watch ISIS members go back to normal life, while they, the victims, never can.”

A watered-down version of the resolution was passed, after a last-minute US threat to veto the measure. The White House implied terminology used to provide “sexual and reproductive health” assistance to survivors demonstrated support for abortion, with Russia and China abstaining during the vote.

Murad, who now advocates on behalf of other women affected by conflict, also delivered an address at the UN meeting,

“Not a single person has been charged for sexual slavery," she told delegates, referring to the destruction and death inflicted on the Yazidi community. “The hopes of an entire generation have been destroyed. We give speeches at the UN but no real measures have been taken and nothing has been done."

Updated: April 25, 2019 01:53 PM