A former sex slave and a doctor have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as weapons of war.

Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege received their prize at a ceremony in Oslo on Monday and both urged the international community to do more to stop the abuses experienced by women in conflict.

They split the nine-million-krona (£788,000) amount.

Murad, who was held hostage and sexually abused by the Islamic State, used her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to call for "a new era" of protection for women.

She is a member of Iraq’s Yazidi minority and became an activist after escaping and finding refuge in Germany.

Ms Murad told the ceremony that she wants world leaders to translate sympathy for victims into action against the abusers.

"The fact remains that the only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice and the prosecution of criminals," Murad said.

Murad used her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to call for 'a new era' of protection for women. Credit: AP

"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," she said.

Dr Mukwege founded a hospital in eastern Congo which has treated tens of thousands of victims of the country's conflicts for the two decades.

In an address interrupted by frequent applause, he criticised the international community for allowing Congolese to be "humiliated, abused and massacred for more than two decades in plain sight."

Dr Mukwege founded a hospital in eastern Congo which has treated tens of thousands of victims of the country's conflicts for the two decades. Credit: AP

He said: "I insist on reparations, measures that give survivors compensation and satisfaction and enable them to start a new life.

"I call on states to support the initiative to create a global fund for reparations for victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts."

He said countries should take a stand against "leaders who have tolerated, or worse, used sexual violence to take power. ... This red line would consist of imposing economic and political sanctions on these leaders and taking them to court."

Dozens of armed groups in Congo profit from mining the country’s trillions of dollars’ worth of mineral resources, many of which are crucial to popular electronic products such as smartphones.

Nadia Murad and Dr Mukwege from Congo, pose with Henrik Syse and Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo. Credit: AP

Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee which chooses the peace laureates, also said action was necessary.

"This award obligates Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad to continue their vital work. But the award obligates us to stand side by side with them in the struggle to end wartime sexual violence," she said.