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Indian nun in Cameroon recognized for anti-trafficking work

10:28 PM, August 10, 2017

United States:The 39-year-old Vanaja Jasphine last year helped to bring home 14 trafficking victims.

An Indian nun working in Cameroon has been awarded by an international agency for her heroic actions to rescue women trafficked from this central African nation.

Sister Vanaja Jasphine of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was recently honored as one of eight global heroes in the fight against trafficking at the launch of the United States' annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, which grades countries on their efforts to stamp out modern-day slavery.

Sister Jasphine, 39, is the coordinator of the Kumbo Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. Last year she brought to home 14 trafficking victims, who were being drugged, raped and abused, DNA news site reported.

Jasphine identifies victims by working with activists, community leaders and civil society groups. So far she identified more than 200 women who have been trafficked from Cameroon,

The US report said Cameroon has met the US minimum standards to end trafficking, by providing services to some victims and sending a delegation to the Middle East to discuss Cameroonian workers' rights.

The government has tried to crack down on Cameroonians travelling to the Middle East, but traffickers have changed tactics, and are instead flying women via Nigeria, Jasphine said.

The nun wats the government to do more. The work of her organization and other groups try to help victims become financially independent and provide the counselling and medical help. But that it not enough, the nun warned.

"It is very disheartening," Jasphine said, showing a series of distressed text messages from one of the women she helped to rescue from Kuwait, who is now struggling financially.

"Much more needs to be done."

Source: DNA India

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