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Cablegate: Mission Poland's Nomination for Secretary's Women

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DE RUEHWR #1225/01 2941252
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P 201252Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7187
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WARSAW 001225

SIPDIS

G/IWI - ANDREA BOTTNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PREL KPAO PHUM POL
SUBJECT: MISSION POLAND'S NOMINATION FOR SECRETARY'S WOMEN
OF COURAGE AWARD

REF: STATE 099729

1. U.S. Embassy Warsaw nominates Stana Buchowska, the
Co-Founder and National Coordinator for La Strada Poland
(Foundation Against Trafficking in Human Beings and Slavery)
for the 2009 Secretary's Award for International Women of
Courage. Stana Buchowska was notified by U.S. Embassy Warsaw
of her nomination for this award. U.S. Embassy Warsaw also
wishes to highlight recently-passed Irena Sendler, the
rescuer of over 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto
as another exemplary Woman of Courage and encourage wider
recognition of her amazing life.

Information about Nominee
-----------------------------

2. Information requested reftel follows:
-- Full legal name: Stana Buchowska
-- Job title/association: National Coordinator of La Strada
Poland Foundation Against Trafficking in Human Beings and
Slavery
-- Date of birth: January 1, 1958
-- Country of birth: Slovakia
-- Citizenship: Slovakia
-- Address: La Strada, P.O. Box 05, 00-956, Warsaw, Poland
-- Telephone: 48-22-622-1985
-- E-mail: strada@pol.pl, stanabuchowska@yahoo.com
-- Passport number: P0308401

Justification
-------------

3. Stana Buchowska is the Co-Founder and National Coordinator
of La Strada Poland Foundation Against Trafficking in Human
Beings and Slavery, an NGO which in September 2008 celebrated
thirteen years of regional leadership and activism in the
fight against trafficking in persons in Central and Eastern
Europe. She is also a member of the Global Alliance Against
Trafficking in Women. Ms. Buchowska was one of the first
persons in Poland to recognize the problem of young women
trafficked to, from, and through Poland. She and her staff,
comprised of a few dedicated full-time employees and many
volunteers, continue to run the only shelter in Poland
exclusively for trafficking victims trying to rebuild their
lives. La Strada provides trafficking victims, regardless of
nationality, with psychological counseling, medical
attention, reemployment training, access to legal
representation, and countless other services under the
auspices of their crisis prevention and social rehabilitation
programs.

4. Ms. Buchowska is both a skilled, attentive practitioner
and an effective lobbyist for her cause. She works on a
daily basis with Polish law enforcement officials who
identify trafficking victims and deliver them to her capably
equipped staff. She also sits on the Polish interagency
Anti-Trafficking working group and pushes her government to
do even more to help. La Strada in 2007 trained federal
judges around Poland on the sensitive and effective handling
of trafficking cases, and similar training for federal
prosecutors is under development. Ms. Buchowska and her
organization have advocated for creating a solid system of
assistance and support for trafficking victims for many
years. La Strada has developed such a reputation for
excellence and commitment, that they now receive direct
funding from the Polish government for victim assistance.

5. La Strada has long been considered the primary Polish
source of information on trends, statistics, and other
trafficking in persons issues, and is viewed as a model for
nascent civil societies beginning to involve themselves in
the fight against trafficking. Ms. Buchowska travels
extensively throughout the region to La Strada partner
organizations, regional conferences, and Poland's neighboring
countries, sharing her expertise on trafficking in specific
and the mechanics of NGO fundraising, communication, conflict
resolution, and negotiation skills in general. Ms. Buchowska
is a dynamic, yet humble, anti-trafficking hero, and a true
international woman of courage.

6. Embassy Warsaw also wishes to highlight Irena Sendler as
another exemplary Woman of Courage. Irena Sendler (February
15, 1910- May 12, 2008) was active in the Polish Underground
and anti-Holocaust resistance, and is credited with saving
the lives of at least 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw
Ghetto. Sendler's story only came to light in recent years,
which makes her situation all the more poignant Although she
does not meet the standard nomination criteria, we believe
that highlighting her amazing life -- perhaps by creating a
special posthumous award -- would pay handsome dividends in

WARSAW 00001225 002 OF 002


Poland, underlining the significance of the contributions
made by Buchowska and other Polish women.
ASHE

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