U.S. Congressional Resolution

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Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 14:59:22 -0800 (PST)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are attaching a United States Sense of Congress Resolution on
International Trafficking introduced by Senators Wellstone (MN) and
Feinstein (CA), and by Representative Slaughter in the House of
Representatives by. The resolution, which is modeled in part on the Belgian
and Dutch approaches to trafficking, was drafted by Senator Wellstone in
collaboration with the Global Survival Network and other nongovernmental
organizations throughout the U.S., including Human Rights Watch and the
International Human Rights Law Group.

We urge U.S. citizens to call your senators and your members in the House of
Representatives immediately and ask them to co-sponsor the
Wellstone-Feinstein International Trafficking Resolution in the Senate side
(S.Con.Res 82), and Representative Louise Slaughter's resolution in the
House (H.Con.Res.239).

We would like our colleagues outside the U.S. to analyze this model for
possible replication in your own countries. This Resolution addresses
trafficking as a human rights abuse and proposes stays of deportation with
an opportunity to apply for permanent residency, witness protection and
relocation, and access to various forms of social, financial, and legal
assistance. Various branches of the US government are also called upon to
provide documentation of trafficking, and to educate relevant law
enforcement officials of the need to treat people who are trafficked as
victims of human rights abuses, rather than as primarily as criminals or
illegal migrants.

Please send us your feedback on this resolution,

Best regards,

Jyothi Kanics & Gillian Caldwell
Global Survival Network

----------Begin Text of Congressional Resolution----------------------------
2nd Session
(Concurrent Resolution with H.Con. Res. 239 introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter)

Mr. Wellstone (for himself and Mrs. Feinstein) submitted the following
concurrent resolution

Expressing the sense of the Congress concerning the worldwide trafficking of
persons, that has a disproportionate impact on women and girls, and is
condemned by the international community as a violation of fundamental human

Whereas one of the fastest growing international trafficking businesses is
the trade in women, whereby women and girls seeking a better life, a good
marriage or a lucrative job abroad, unexpectedly find themselves in
situations of forced prostitution, sweatshop labor, exploitative domestic
servitude, or battering and extreme cruelty.

Whereas trafficked women are often subjected to rape and other forms of
sexual abuse by their traffickers and often held as virtual prisoners by
their exploiters, made to work in slavery-like conditions, in debt bondage
without pay and against their will.

Whereas the President, the First Lady, the Secretary of State, and the
President's Interagency Council on Women have all identified trafficking in
women as a significant problem and are working to mobilize a response;

Whereas the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing Conference) called on
all governments to take measures, including legislative measures, to provide
better protection of the rights of women and girls in trafficking, to
address the root factors that put women at risk to traffickers and take
measures to dismantle the national, regional and international networks in

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly, noting its concern about the
increasing number of women and girls who are being victimized by
traffickers, passed a resolution in 1996 calling upon all governments to
criminalize trafficking in women and girls in all its forms and penalize all
those offenders involved, while ensuring that the victims of these practices
are not penalized; and

Whereas numerous international treaties to which the United States is a
party address government obligations to combat trafficking and the abuses
inherent in trafficking, including such treaties as the 1956 Supplementary
Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and
Practices Similar to Slavery, which calls for the complete abolition of debt
bondage and servile forms of marriage, and the 1957 Abolition of Forced
Labor Convention, which undertakes to suppress and not to make use of any
form of forced or compulsory labor. Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is
the sense of Congress that --

(1) Trafficking consists of all acts involved in the recruitment or
transportation of persons within or across borders, involving deception,
coercion or force, abuse of authority, debt bondage or fraud, for the
purpose of placing persons in situations of abuse or exploitation such as
forced prostitution, sexual slavery, battering and extreme cruelty,
sweatshop labor or exploitative domestic servitude;

(2) Trafficking also involves one or more forms of kidnaping, false
imprisonment, rape, battering, forced labor or slavery-like practices which
violate fundamental human rights;

(3) to address this problem, the Violence Against Women Office of the
Department of Justice with the cooperation of the Immigration and
Naturalization Services should submit a report to Congress on --
(A) efforts to identify instances of trafficking into the United States
within the last 5 years;
(B) the successes or difficulties experienced in promoting interagency
cooperation, cooperation between local, State, and Federal authorities, and
cooperation with non governmental organizations;
(C) the treatment and services provided, and the disposition of trafficking
cases in the criminal justice system; and
(D) legal and administrative barriers to more effective governmental
responses, including current statutes on debt bondage and involuntary servitude;

(4) in order to ensure effective prosecution of traffickers and the abuses
related to trafficking, victims should be provided with support services and
incentives to testify, such as --

(A) stays of deportation with an opportunity to apply for permanent
residency, witness protection, relocation assistance, and asset forfeiture
from trafficking networks with funds set aside to provide compensation due
to victims of trafficking; and
(B) services such as legal assistance in criminal, administrative, and civil
proceedings and confidential health care;

(5) the Department of State, in consultation with the Department of Justice
Office of Violence Against Women, and non governmental organizations should ---

(A) develop curricula and conduct training for consular affairs officers on
the prevalence and risks of trafficking, and the rights of victims;
(B) develop and disperse to visa seekers written materials describing the
potential risks of trafficking including --
(i) information as to the rights of victims in the United States, including
legal and civil rights in labor, marriage, and for crime victims under the
Violence Against Women Act, and
(ii) the names of support and advocacy organizations in the United States.

(6) the United States Department of State and the European Union --
(A) are commended as to their joint initiative to promote awareness of the
problem of trafficking throughout countries of origin in Eastern Europe and
the independent States of the Former Soviet Union; and
(B) should continue efforts to engage in similar programs in other regions
and to ensure that the dignity and the human rights of trafficking victims
are protected in destination countries;

(7) the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law
Enforcement Affairs, together with the Department of Justice and the
Department of the Treasury, should continue to provide and expand funding to
support criminal justice training programs, which include trafficking; and

(8) the President's Interagency Council on Women should submit a report to
Congress, not later than 6 months after the date of the adoption of this
resolution, with regards to the implementation by the Secretary of State and
the Attorney General of the duties described under this resolution.

SEC. 2. The Secretary of the Senate shall transmit a copy of this resolution
to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General.

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