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Vanaja Jasphine

Cameroon , Class of 2017

Vanaja Jasphine

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Vanaja Jasphine is the driving force behind and coordinator of the Kumbo Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. In this role, she has placed her organization at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking in Cameroon and has contributed to a renewed government commitment to combat human trafficking.

Sister Jasphine has worked tirelessly to inform authorities and civil society leaders, including those in the religious community and media partners, about human trafficking, especially on patterns of movement that create vulnerabilities. She played a key role in recognizing the trend of Cameroonians traveling to the Middle East and being forced into domestic servitude or sex trafficking, and then spurred the government to take action, including drafting migrant worker agreements and enhancing screening measures at airports. Sister Jasphine and her organization have identified more than 200 Cameroonian trafficking victims in the Middle East during the past few years. In 2016 alone, she helped facilitate the return of at least 14 victims from the Middle East, including raising funds to sponsor return air travel for four of them.

Through her organization, Sister Jasphine has helped provide reintegration assistance to survivors, initiate a number of trafficking-related court proceedings, and offer legal assistance to victims.

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Sex Trafficking