Danuwar wins top US honour

June 30, 2018

The Kathmandu Post, 30 June 2018

Nepal’s Sunita Danuwar is among the ten activists working against human trafficking selected by the US Department of State for 2018 Trafficking in Persons honour’s list.

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo joined the Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to release the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2018 in Washington, DC.

The international honour celebrates the work and achievements of individuals fighting against human trafficking.

Danuwar is the co-founder and Executive Director of the anti-trafficking NGO Shakti Samuha. It works to elevate survivors’ perspectives and raises awareness about human trafficking in poor and rural Nepali communities.

The US Embassy congratulated Danuwar for her efforts in the face of serious challenges to protect victims, punish traffickers, and raise awareness on human trafficking.

In a statement released on Friday, the US Embassy said Danuwar was recognised for her commitment to providing services to survivors and at-risk communities across Nepal.

“The report assesses governments around the world on their efforts to combat modern slavery and presents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons,” the statement read.

Speaking at the launch ceremony Secretary Pompeo said, “Modern slavery has no place in the world, and I intend to ensure, through diplomatic engagement and increased action, that the United States government’s leadership in combating this global threat is sustained in the years to come.”

This year’s report focuses on the effective ways local communities can address human trafficking proactively and on how national governments can support and empower them.

The report recognises that Nepal has made progress to eliminate human trafficking through increased efforts to prevent it, as well as modest improvements in law enforcement and victim protection efforts.

The report has made recommendations for improvements that Nepal can make in order to meet the minimum international standards for the elimination of trafficking. These include acceding to the 2000 United Nations TIP Protocol, which would send a strong signal of Nepal’s continued commitment to fighting human trafficking. The UN TIP Protocol, also known as one of the Palermo Protocols, has already been ratified by 173 countries.

The US Embassy is committed to continue its support to Nepal government and people of Nepal in their efforts to combat trafficking in persons, the statement said.