Trafficking victim picked for human rights award
Kathmandu, November 6
Sunita Danuwar, founding member and chairperson of Shakti Samuha, is going to be awarded with the 2015 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award by Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
Danuwar was once a victim of human trafficking but currently she is a leading social activist and the president of Shakti Samuha, the first non-governmental organisation sheltering human trafficking survivors in Nepal.
A press statement issued by TFD on November 5 said, each year, the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award is awarded to one individual or organisation that has made significant contributions to the advancement of democracy or human rights in Asia through peaceful means and this year, it has decided to award Danuwar for her courage, leadership and contribution to ending human trafficking.
It said the award consists of a sculpture and a US$100,000 grant from the TFD. It further said that she will formally receive the 2015 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award at a ceremony in Shangri-La’s Far Easter Plaza Hotel Taipei on December 10, 2015, the International Human Rights Day.
According to the statement, in 1995, she was trafficked to India at the age of 14 and turned into a sex-slave by force. In February, the next year, under huge pressure from national and international organisations, Mumbai police raided the red light areas and rescued girls under 18 years of age.
Almost 500 girls and women were rescued from brothels, nearly 200 of whom were Nepali girls and women, including Sunita. Later on, with support from WOREC Nepal, Danuwar and her friends attended a training session and learned that they should not feel guilty and were not responsible for what happened to them.
Moreover, Danuwar and other fourteen girls organised and formed a group called Shakti Samuha, which means “the power group”, aiming to fight women trafficking.
Shakti Samuha today said the award has encouraged all members of the organisation to continue their hard work.
A statement issued here today by Dil Kumari Rai, secretary, Shakti Samuha, said, “We are very thankful to all of our trafficking survivor members, executive board member, advisory committee, staff, donor agencies, stakeholders, volunteers and well wishers.”
Danuwar was one of the ten persons who received the Child 10 (C 10) award in 2014 for her fight against trafficking of children.