The French Embassy in Kathmandu presented French Republic Human Rights Award to Shakti Samuha, the first organization in Nepal to be established and run by survivors of trafficking.
French Ambassador to Nepal Martine Bassereau handed over award to Sunita Danuwar, president of Shakti Samuha.
The very first French Republic Human Rights award was awarded to a Nepalese, Shyam Sah from Janakpur, a Human Rights Defender, in January 2012.
According to a press release issued by French Embassy, in 1947, the French authorities established a “National Advisory Commission on Human Rights”, an independent administrative body that ensured that the human rights were respected and implement in France. Each year, this Commission selects, from all over the world, the winners of the “French Republic Human Rights Awards”. This year, the Commission selected Shakti Samuha for its outstanding work and has given a special mention award “Liberté-Egalité-Fraternité”.
Shakti Samuha has been organizing and empowering vulnerable women and returning trafficking survivors by providing shelter, legal aid, vocational training and counseling. Women protection committees and adolescent groups have been set up in the poorest communities in 11 districts in order to prevent trafficking and violence against women.
The program that was presented to the Commission for the award is a joint initiative of Shakti Samuha and the French NGO Planète Enfants and is called LEARN, UNDERSTAND, ACT. This program has been implemented since 2007 in several districts as part of a long-term collaboration between the two organizations and aims at strengthening the capacities of the communities and district authorities to prevent violence against women and children through literacy classes, awareness-raising, legal support to survivors of violence, etc. Planète Enfants started working in Nepal in 1997 and focuses on fighting against human trafficking, exploitation and violence against women and children.
Addressing the program French ambassador to Nepal Martine Bassereau congratulated Shakti Samuha to win this prestigious independent award.
Similarly, Sunita Danuwar, chairperson of Shakti Samuha, expressed her commitment to work against the women trafficking. “This is great honor for me and my organization,” said Danuwar.