Charimaya Tamang who was honoured 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 to the media upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport from the US, where she was honoured 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 honour 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. She received a national honour 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, which was founded in 2009.