The Yazidi community in Iraq has paid Daesh some $45 million in ransoms to release girls and women abducted by the militant group in 2014 alone, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday.
Speaking during an open session on sexual violence in conflict zones at the UN Security Council in New York, Ban said: ""One extremely disturbing aspect is the use of sexual violence as a tactic of terrorism. Daesh, Boko Haram and other extremist groups are using sexual violence as a means of attracting and retaining fighters, and to generate revenue."
He demanded the immediate release of all prisoners and for care and support to be provided for them.
"The war of conquest of extremist groups is being fought on and fought over the bodies of women and girls generating millions of dollars of revenue," Bangura said. "It is the revival of the slave trades in our own time and life."
Daesh gained control of Sinjar, a predominantly Kurdish Yezidis town 124 kilometres west of Mosul, in August 2014.
Ban warned of "the risks of using sexual violence on a large scale as a strategy aimed at tearing social fabric and forcing civilians to flee their homes," saying that "sexual violence threatens international peace and security and is a serious violation of international law and human rights."