Meron Estefanos

Swedish-Eritrean journalist, activist and advocate of victims of trafficking and torture

Meron Estefanos is a renowned Swedish-Eritrean journalist, author, human rights activist, and advocate for victims of trafficking and torture. She has been dubbed “The Huntress of Human Traffickers” for helping to bring 15 human smugglers to justice. She is a member of the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights and has actively campaigned for freedom and democracy in Eritrea, a dictatorship from which citizens continually risk their lives to flee political repression, indefinite military conscription, and forced labor. She has helped to rescue more than 16,000 Eritreans from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and negotiated for the release of thousands more who had been kidnapped and held hostage for ransom in torture camps. She was profiled in the acclaimed 2013 documentary film “Sound of Torture,” which chronicled her working with the families of Eritrean refugee hostages held for ransom. Estefanos is the co-founder of the International Commission on Eritrean Refugees and Stop Racism Now. She is the executive director of the Eritrean Initiative on Eritrean Refugees and the founder of the Meron Estefanos Foundation. She is the co-author of the books “Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between Life and Death” and ”Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond” and a contributor to a wide range of studies, reports, and academic publications on the smuggling and trafficking of human beings (STHB). She is the 2011 recipient of the Swedish Publicists’ Association Dawit Isaak Award and the 2015 laureate of the ACAT Foundation’s Engel-du Tertre Prize.

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