Fri, Dec 11, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Nepalese woman recognized for Asia rights work

Staff Writer, with CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou, center, hands this year’s Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award to Nepalese social activist Sunita Danuwar, right, during the Human Rights Day celebration yesterday in Taipei.

Photo: EPA

Sunita Danuwar of Nepal yesterday won the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award, which was presented to her by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy at a ceremony in Taipei, in recognition of her dedication to rescuing female victims of human trafficking.

Once a sex slave, Danuwar is now president of Shakti Samuha, a non-governmental organization in Nepal that provides shelter, legal aid, vocational training and counseling to survivors of human trafficking.

The award was presented to Danuwar by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at the ceremony on International Human Rights Day.

In an address at the ceremony, Ma praised Danuwar’s unrelenting efforts to rescue female victims of human trafficking, saying she has also helped raise awareness of the problem.

Danuwar has built a good reputation at home and abroad, going from a victim to an activist for women’s rights, Ma said.

The annual market value of human trafficking and child prostitution is estimated at tens of billions of US dollars, Ma said, adding that the efforts to combat the problem must continue.

Taiwan is willing to work jointly with the international community to fight human trafficking, which is a blight on human civilization, he said.

The annual Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award was established by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy in 2006 to recognize individuals or organizations in Asia that have made significant contributions to promoting democracy and advancing human rights through peaceful means.

Funded mainly by the government, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is a non-profit organization in Taipei that aims to promote democracy and support the improvement of human rights conditions.

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