Azazet Habtezghi Kidane

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Azazet Habtezghi Kidane
Azezet Habtezghi Kidane.jpg
Born
Nationality British
Other names Sister Aziza
Known for Work with refugees in Israel
Awards US Department of State "Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery"
With Hillary Clinton

Azezet Habtezghi Kidane is an Eritrean-born British nun and human trafficking activist working in Israel.

Career

Azezet Habtezghi Kidane, also known as Sister Aziza, was born in Eritrea and is now a British citizen.[1][2] She worked as a nurse in Sudan and Ethiopia for 20 years and is a member of the Comboni Missionary Sisters.[3]

From 2010 Kidane began working as a nurse at an open clinic in Tel Aviv run by the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.[1][3][4] The clinic provided free healthcare to African refugees who had made the journey to Israel via the Sinai Peninsula.[5] Kidane noticed that many of the refugees had suffered from enslavement, human trafficking and torture on their journeys and began recording this in a database.[4][3] In all she took testimonies from more than 1,500 refugees using a questionnaire of her own design.[3][5] The reports she compiled were passed to the Israeli police, US Department of State, the European Union and the United Nations.[3]

Kidane discovered that a network of torture camps existed in the Sinai that were used by people smugglers to extort money from the refugees. Around half of the refugees she interviewed had experienced these camps. The smugglers would force the refugees to call their families in Israel or Africa and torture them whilst they were listening in order to demand ransoms of up to $50,000.[3]

A fence built by the Israeli government in 2013 almost completely halted the flow of African migrants. Instead of meeting with new refugees Kidane now works to provide counselling to those already in Israel.[3] Kidane set up the Kuchinate women's refugee centre, of which she is a director, to bring together African women in groups to sew and crochet goods to sell at market.[2][3] She uses it as a form of group therapy as the women were nervous about speaking to her alone.[3] Kidane is well known in the African community in Israel.[5] She was awarded a Trafficking in People Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery award by the US Department of State in 2012, which was presented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b "Azezet Kidane". Voices of Faith. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Meet the team". Kuchinate. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Healing and trust for tortured women". Global Sisters Report. National Catholic Reporter. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Azazet Habtezghi Kidane". Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Sister gives hope to trafficked migrants". CNN. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
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