TIP Award Year:
Colonel Karma Rigzin has been a leading advocate for increasing efforts to combat trafficking in Bhutan. She has elevated the investigation of human trafficking issues to a central objective of the Woman and Child Protection Division she leads.
Colonel Rigzin has developed innovative practices for compiling human trafficking-related data and was responsible for establishing a human trafficking awareness program for Bhutanese citizens traveling overseas for employment. In 2006, Colonel Rigzin stood up Bhutan’s first specialized unit within the Woman and Child Protection Unit to handle all issues relating to women and children, including human trafficking, and provide victims a more secure environment to report human trafficking crimes. In 2007, this unit identified and prosecuted Bhutan’s first criminal case involving human trafficking charges. Colonel Rigzin played a central role in efforts to amend the Bhutan Penal Code to align its legal definition of human trafficking with international standards.
Over the years, Colonel Rigzin has trained immigration officials, senior police officers, and non-commissioned officers on identification of trafficking victims and investigation techniques and has successfully advocated for increased funding for trafficking victim services.