Neelam Sharma and Nirmala Thapa have deeply personal reasons for dedicating their lives to combating slavery in Nepal. They’ve both seen the toll that trafficking inflicts on their country and on people’s lives.
“I’ve always wanted to work for the rights of the most marginalized of my country” says Neelam, who serves as Free the Slaves’ Nepal country director. She’s seen how poverty and social marginalization make people vulnerable to trafficking.
Thousands of Nepalis are tricked by traffickers each year while migrating for work. Thousands more are enslaved right at home.
Neelam carefully coordinates the activities of four grassroots partner organizations to help educate and mobilize local community members to slavery-proof their families and neighborhoods.
“When I see these women being empowered, it empowers me,” she says.
Nirmala Thapa’s personal experience with slavery is what motivates her to help others.
“As a survivor myself, I think that trafficking must end,” she says.
Nirmala heads one of our front-line partner organizations, Shakti Samuha. The group was formed by slavery survivors to help others escape bondage.
“It is not possible to end human trafficking with just one persons or one communityus efforts. Everyone needs to work together to end this,” she says.
You can see Neelam and Nirmala in action in the latest installment of our film series on the global work of FTS: Face to Face with Slavery. This episode, On the Front Lines in Nepal, was filmed shortly before the April 2015 earthquake.
Learn more about the current situation in Nepal in yesterday’s situation update post in the FTS Blog. Learn more about our program in Nepal on our Nepal webpage. See other episodes in the Face to Face with Slavery film series on our video gallery webpage.