Amela Efendic Bosnia and Herzegovina Amela Efendic has been a tireless and compassionate caregiver for trafficking victims and an advocate for victim-protection issues for more than 10 years. As head of office for the International Forum of Solidarity-Emmaus (IFS), Ms. Efendic manages one of Bosnia’s largest and most active shelters for trafficking victims and coordinates IFS’ trafficking awareness campaigns. Having developed close working relationships and trust with the State Coordinator’s Office and Bosnia’s law enforcement agencies, Ms. Efendic provides critical advice to the government in forming the country’s trafficking monitoring teams and in crafting effective and humane procedures for treatment of trafficking victims. Despite numerous threats from trafficking offenders against herself and IFS staff, Ms. Efendic continues to work at an operational level with police, prosecutors and other responsible officials to ensure the protection of victims’ rights. Prior to her work with IFS, Ms. Efendic was an acting project manager at IOM for many years. She managed the implementation of more than $6 million in IOM anti-trafficking projects and was directly involved in developing two consecutive national action plans for Bosnia and procedures for foreign victims of trafficking.
At both IOM and IFS, Ms. Efendic has gone above and beyond her duties to be personally involved in rescuing and reintegrating trafficking victims. In 2011, because of her dedication and wealth of experience and knowledge in victim protection, Bosnia’s Anti-TIP Strike Force coordinator asked Ms. Efendic to join the Strike Force – a request never before posed to an NGO activist.
Bridget Lew Tan Singapore For more than a decade, Bridget Lew Tan has been at the forefront of efforts to protect migrant laborers in Singapore, home to more than 800,000 migrants. Working in human resource management, Ms. Tan became familiar with local employment laws and the rights of workers. She was outraged to see that there were migrant workers who were suffering injustices at the hands of employers and employment agents. While volunteering with the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People in 2002, Ms. Tan met a group of 30 Bangladeshi men assembled behind a coffee shop at midnight. After seeing their helplessness and fear, she set up two shelters to provide refuge for migrant workers – one for men and one for women.
2011 T I P RE P OR T H EROE S
and ensured that sex trafficking victims were not punished under anti-prostitution provisions of the ITPA Indian law. Under her leadership, the court has secured 81 convictions against traffickers and brothel owners in 2009 and 164 convictions in 2010 – a high percentage of all the cases in a country of more than 1.2 billion people. In 2009, as an instructor at the National Institute of Rural Developments in Hyderabad, Ms. Chauhan trained more than 150 senior police officials and district-level officers from across India on effective implementation of the ITPA. Her work, which has been recognized internationally, has raised awareness of the importance of prosecuting traffickers and the utility of dedicated anti-trafficking courts. The Government of India nominated her to represent the country at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Rule of Law in Kuala Lumpur in January 2011.
In 2004, Ms. Tan founded the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) to respond to the specific needs of migrant workers. Since its inception, HOME has provided food, shelter, advocacy assistance and legal counsel to more than 50,000 migrants, many of whom are female domestic workers. HOME continues to operate and expand its assistance to migrant workers and trafficking victims despite limited funding. Ms. Tan works to increase public awareness of the hardships facing migrant workers and trafficking victims through the media. Despite threats and intimidation from employers and agents, Ms. Tan continues to lead HOME in challenging illegal employment practices and raising awareness on the plight of foreign workers in Singapore.
Published on Jun 26, 2012