charm-tong

The Student Peace Prize of 2007 was awarded to Charm Tong, for being one of the most visible activists of the exile Burmese opposition. She is the founder of Shan Woman’s rights and the leader of the School for Shan State Nationalities Youth in northern Thailand. Since the age of 16, she has been involved in human rights groups along the border between Thailand and Burma. Tong has, as mentioned, been a part of founding schools for Shan women, so they can have a safe place to get an education, without the threat from the Burmese Junta. The Burmese Junta use violent methods to frighten the Burmese people – violence, raping and killing. Many people from the Shan state flee the border every year, but since they don´t count as refugees in Thailand, the situation is very hard. This is the background for Charm Tongs work, and she has several times spoken in front of many important people, trying to improve the situation for Shan people, and especially women. She has also founded the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), which is a network involving Shan women. They are working for gender equality and justice for other Shan women who struggles for social and political change in Burma.