A combination picture shows the Nobel Prize for Peace 2018 winners: Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad (L) and Denis Mukwege. Picture: Lucas Jackson and Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Oslo - Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq, won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it had awarded them the prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

"Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes," it said in its citation.

Mukwege, a gynaecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern city of Bukavu.

Opened in 1999, the clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence.

Murad is an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and for refugee and women's rights in general. She was enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in Mosul in 2014.

The prize will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.