Basanti Chaudary (Nepal)
Though bonded labour has been banned in Nepal since 2006, many of its problems remain unresolved. Basanti Chaudhary was born into a family of Kamaiyas herself, learning about the entrenched problems of bonded labour in Nepal from a very young age. Basanti’s education was disrupted after she was handed over to a landlord by her parents. Basanti later learned about human rights on the Empowerment Education Program for Kamaiyas, which motivated her to champion the rights of Kamaiyas. Today, Basanti is the Chair of Kamaiya Pratha Unmulan Samaj (KAPUS), an organization of former Kamaiyas for Kamaiyas. Under Basanti’s guidance and leadership, KAPUS has assisted over 200 violence-affected women to improve their economic circumstances. She believes that more has to be done to ensure that women are empowered and are closely involved in Nepal’s development and sustained peace.