Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has awarded the 2015 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award to a Nepalese rights activist. The prestigious award, which was given in Taipei amid a programme organised to mark the International Human Rights Day on December 10, recognises her ongoing campaigns to fight human trafficking and rehabilitate those who survive the degrading industry.
The winner, Sunita Danuwar, is a ‘former sex slave’ who has transformed her woes into a fierce anti-trafficking movement. She is the president of Shakti Samuha, an organisation in Nepal that provides shelter and support to victims (survivors) of human trafficking.
The Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award, established in 2006, is given each year by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. According to the organisation, the award carries a grant of US $100,000 to Ms Danuwar ‘validating her remarkable dedication’. It recognizes Asian individuals and organizations that have contributed to promoting democracy and human rights.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the Taiwanese president appreciated the contribution made by Ms Danuwar, specially because she herself was once a victim. Efforts must continue to counter the menace of human trafficking and child prostitution industry estimated at tens of billions of dollars, President Ma said at the programme held today.
“I am very happy to receive this award, as this is an acknowledgement of my work and efforts to fight against human trafficking and slavery. I would like to dedicate this award to all the survivors who are fighting for their rights and those who have been joining hands together for the rights of human trafficking survivors,” Ms Danuwar took to social media to express her gratitude at the recognition.