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Clinton Honors Nepali Anti-Trafficking Survivor
By Anil Giri
Kathmandu Correspondent
US State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton poses with the 10 TIP heroes. Photo Courtesy of US State Department

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Nepali anti- trafficking hero Charimaya Tamang on Monday by the 2011 Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award.

Tamang was honored while releasing of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, at the State Department in Washington.

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, Ms. 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.

Later in 2000, Tamang and 15 other survivors established Shakti Sumaha, an anti-trafficking NGO.

In that role, Tamang raised the importance of including survivors in each district-level working group. There are now five trafficking survivors serving as members of district-level committees around the country. Releasing the report on Monday in Washington, DC, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized ten TIP Heroes from around the world for their efforts in combating human trafficking.

Meanwhile, 11th Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, released in Washington Monday stated that Nepal has continued to improve efforts to combat human trafficking despite limited resources, pointing out that the government is yet to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

According to a statement released here by the US Embassy, Kathmandu, the Government of Nepal has continued to improve efforts to combat human trafficking despite limited resources, although it does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

“While the Government of Nepal established the Central Crime Investigative 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,” said the statement.

Recommendations contained in the TIP Report aimed at improving Nepal’s anti-trafficking efforts include increased law enforcement efforts against all types of trafficking, including labor trafficking, and against government officials who are found to be complicit in trafficking; the establishment of a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to protection services; and the promotion of legal awareness programs to potential trafficking victims and government officials.

The U.S. government has been supporting various initiatives to combat human trafficking in Nepal, including a five-year project funded by USAID that will strengthen protection services for TIP survivors; build capacity of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce legal measures and increase prosecution of TIP-related cases, and prevent trafficking by building awareness among groups that are vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking, and welcomes its continued partnership with the Government of Nepal and other concerned organizations in this important endeavor.

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Anil Giri serves as Kathmandu Correspondent for The Seoul Times.As a journalist he has worked for such news media as Annapurna Post, BBC, and Himalayan Times for years. He finished his both undergrad Economics degree and his MA degree in English Literature at Tribhuvan Univ., Kathmandu. He also holds a diploma in Development Journalism from prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication-IIMC, New Delhi, India.






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