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.

Tong has been involved in human rights groups along the border between Thailand and Burma since the age of 16. The goal for the funding of the school for the Shan women is to give them a safer place for education without the threat from the Burmese Junta, which uses violent methods like violence, raping and killing to frighten the Burmese people.

The numerous people who flee the Shan state every year does not count as refugees in Thailand, which makes their situation extra challenging. 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, especially women. She is also working towards gender equality and justice for other Shan women who struggle for social and political change in Burma through her founding of the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN).