US awards anti-trafficking crusader Danuwar

Published On: June 30, 2018 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 30: The US Department of State on Thursday awarded Sunita Danuwar, the Executive Director of Shakti Samuha with Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award-2018.

Danuwar was awarded by the department for “demonstrating an unwavering commitment to providing an array of services to survivors and at-risk communities across Nepal”.She was chosen among ten international anti-trafficking fighters. The Department of State annually honors individual who has actively worked to raise awareness against human trafficking and sex trade, and helped empower and provide legal rights to victims internationally.

Danuwar herself is a survivor who had been forced into sex trade at a young age of fourteen. She is one among 500 young Nepali girls who were able to escape from the clutches of their abusers after the Indian authorities conducted a raid in Mumbai in 1996. Along with fourteen other survivors, she led to the establishment of Shakti Samuha, which is the first of its kind.The organization believes in “Turning Tears into Power”.

It began operating in 1996 but was officially registered in 2001. It emphasizes supporting and empowering victims of human trafficking contemporary slave trade, and providing them with the social justice and legal rights that they are entitled to. It hoped to empower survivors so that they can lead a dignified life.

Shakti Samuha works in cohorts with many national and international organizations has been successful in supporting and sheltering over one thousand trafficking survivors so far. It has repatriated 145 human trafficking survivors from India, and has provided education support to children in 10 districts of Nepal.

The organization has received awards on multiple occasions for its efforts in building a better society, denuded of sex trade, trafficking, and slavery. Two other founding members have already been awarded the TIP Hero award previously. Asia Human Right and Democracy Award, French Republic Human Right Award, and World Women Leadership Achievement Award 2015 are among the 12 awards that the organization has received so far. Recognizing their efforts through such commemorations will help lead their battles further and strengthen their cause.

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