Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, hugs Charimaya Tamang of Nepal, a trafficking survivor herself, as she is awarded the 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award, Monday, June 27, 2011, during the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, at the State Department in Washington.
Charimaya Tamang who was honored with the 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award in Washington DC, said the recognition had encouraged her to fight human trafficking and injustice against Nepali women.
Speaking at a reception given by Nepali NGOs, Charimaya said that her new life began at Navjyoti (The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth centre for empowerment of women). It is at Navjyoti that she was assisted in confidence building, received various training and as a result of which she is now able to work actively for anti-trafficking. Roselyn Karakattu, SCN, recalled Charimaya riding on her scooter to attend many meetings.
Speaking to the media upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport from the US, where she was honored by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tamang underscored the need of unity to fight the evil of human trafficking. “If we all work together and move forward, we can eliminate human trafficking,” she said.
Tamang gave credit to all Nepali women for the award. “This award is not my personal recognition but it is the recognition of the efforts made by all Nepali people working to end human trafficking. It is the pride of all Nepalis,” Tamang said.
Tamang added the international recognition further showed there are valiant women working to end modern day slavery. “This honor also testifies that hard work and perseverance pays in the long run,” she added.
Tamang, a survivor of trafficking herself, was felicitated with the award on June 27 in the US during the release of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report at the State Department in Washington.
The 2011 TIP Report had noted, “Born into a poor family made poorer by the passing of her father, Charimaya Tamang was 16 when she was trafficked to India. She spent 22 months enslaved in a brothel before the Indian government rescued her and more than 200 other Nepali women in 1996. Upon her return to Nepal, Tamang faced social stigma and was outcast from her own community. But she courageously filed a case against her traffickers, becoming the first person to file personally a trafficking case with the district police. In 1997, the District Court — in a landmark decision — convicted and sentenced eight offenders involved in her case.”
In 2000, Tamang and 15 other survivors established Shakti Samuha, an anti-trafficking NGO. In that role, Tamang raised the importance of including survivors in each district-level working group. She received a national honor for her work in 2007 and is currently one of two trafficking survivors serving as members of the government-led National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking. There are now five trafficking survivors serving as members at the district-level committees around the country.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday honored Nepali anti-trafficking hero, Charimaya Tamang, with the 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award. Tamang was honoured during the release of 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report at the State Department in Washington. Releasing the report, Secretary of State Clinton recognized ten TIP Heroes from around the world for their efforts in combating human trafficking.
Nepal has improved anti-human trafficking efforts despite limited resources, the report pointed out the need to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. “While the Government of Nepal established the Central Crime Investigation Bureau’s special unit to investigate trafficking and increased its direct financial support for protection services in Nepal and abroad, the lack of proactive victim identification was cited in the report as a persistent serious problem,” read a statement released by the US Embassy here. The report recommended that the government improve anti-trafficking efforts. The recommendations include increased law enforcement against all kinds of trafficking, establishment of a formal procedure to identify victims and promotion of legal awareness programme among potential victims and government officials. The US government has been supporting various initiatives to combat human trafficking in Nepal. These initiatives, among others, include a five-year project funded by USAID to strengthen protection services for TIP survivors, capacity building of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies and awareness programmes among groups that are vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking.
From UCANEWS | By Chirendra Satyal
Ten years ago she was under “private” rehabilitation in Kathmandu at the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth convent.
Tamang was one of the first batch of over 200 Nepalese girls to be “rescued” from brothels in Mumbai (in India) in 1996. Catholic nuns in Mumbai had also helped rehabilitate them before they were flown into Nepal on special flights.
The issue was very sensitive as some locals in Nepal argued “why are you flying HIV/AIDS into the country?”
The airport in Kathmandu was sealed off so no journalist would take photos and sensationalize the issue of these “dishonorable” girls as they landed.
In Kathmandu the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth secretly took the girls to their houses and convent. The Nazareth nuns helped train the girls with a 6 month empowerment program and provided medical checkups. Tamang stayed with the Sisters for more than a year.
Rosita Kavilpurayidathil, SCN, (who has been working in Nepal for decades for women’s upliftment) said she could hardly believe the good news.
“Tamang had trouble with her close relatives while founding her anti-trafficking group — but she never gave up,” Sister Rosita said.