Nang Charm Tong, an ethnic Shan, was sent away to Thailand by her parents when she was just 6; the Shans were being persecuted, as they are still, by the Burmese military and they feared for her safety. Growing up in an orphanage on the border she witnessed first hand the vulnerability of refugee women and children to the sex trade.
At 17 she co founded the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN). Through this organisation she has campaigned internationally on the human rights abuses in Burma and on both sides of its borders. At 18 she gave her first presentation to the UN Commission on Human Rights on the evidence and testimonies she had collected from women who had been trafficked or who were victims of any kind of violence.