NEWS: Slovak and Hungarian Women in Austria

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Sat, 27 Jun 1998 06:51:32 EDT

Time: 14:17
Headline:Austrian police free Slovak, Hungarian prostitutes

Vienna, April 3 (Czech press agency)- The Austrian police have uncovered a
ring of traders in Slovak and Hungarian women who were forced into
prostitution and treated like slaves, the Austrian news agency APA writes
Twenty of the women are already free, the agency wrote. The police arrested a
total of 18 women-traders and pimps.
The young women, several of them underage, were enticed from their home
countries by advertisements promising they would earn up to 200,000 schillings
a month. Once in Vienna, they were not allowed to leave their accomodation by
themselves, and were always accompanied to the brothel by a pimp. They had to
give up all the money they earned, and worked only for accomodation and food.
Their passports were also taken away.
One of the youngest victims, a 16-year-old girl, begged one of her clients to
help her. The man bought her from her pimp for 12,000 schillings. Most of
the women who have been freed are now back home, but some have had to stay in
Vienna to give evidence in court.
From Sat Jun 27 06:47:17 1998
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Subject: news: Criminalizing Prostitution & Its Relation to Trafficking
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> Copyright 1998 Associated Press
> AP Worldstream
> June 22, 1998; Monday 10:18 Eastern Time
> SECTION: International news
> LENGTH: 382 words
> HEADLINE: Criminalizing prostitution makes it worse, U.N. says
> Criminalizing prostitution only makes matters worse for women
> involved,
> especially those trafficked to western Europe and around the world from
> the
> post-communist countries, the U.N. Commissoner of Human Rights said
> Monday.
> The United Nations should get involved in efforts to help the thousands
> of
> women trapped abroad after arriving in western Europe, North America, Asia
> or
> the Middle East from eastern Europe, with no way to get back home and no
> authorities to turn to, said the commissioner, former Irish President Mary
> Robinson.
> Criminalizing prostitution ''adds to the burden of women who are
> already
> victims,'' she told reporters at the start of a three-day conference
> organized
> by a womens' group funded by the Open Society Institute of Hungarian-born
> U.S.
> billionaire George Soros.
> Over 100 human rights activists from 38 countries were attending the
> seminar,
> focusing on trafficking in women from eastern Europe since the fall of the
> Berlin Wall.
> Women from post-communist eastern Europe are trafficked to different
> parts of
> the world, including North America, Asia, the Mideast, and Western Europe.
> ''They arrive there with debt-bondage contracts, so that they earn no
> money
> until it paid back. If they approach the local authorities for help, they
> are
> treated as illegal migrants,'' Gillian Caldwell, Co-Director of the Global
> Survival Network said.
> ''I want the United Nations to be involved, want to raise global
> awareness
> how serious the problem is,'' Robinson said.
> According to UN estimates, some four million people are trafficked
> worldwide
> annually. These include women and men, who are recruited for forced work
> as
> industrial slaves.
> ''There is an estimated seven billion dollars annual profit in this
> market,''
> Caldwell said.
> Countries involved could face pressure from western Europe and the
> United
> States, she said, noting that U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
> recently raised the issue of trafficking Ukrainian women to Israel with
> Israeli
> Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
> Participants at the conference warned that not all women involved are
> ''innocent victims.'' However, they also noted that women willing to work
> as
> prostitutes should not live in slave-like conditions banning them from
> moving
> freely.
From Sat Jun 27 06:47:19 1998
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Trafficking in women growing, UN commissioner says
     09:46 a.m. Jun 22, 1998 Eastern
     BUDAPEST, June 22 (Reuters) - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
     Mary Robinson said Monday that trafficking in women was a growing
     global problem with deep economic roots.
     ``I want the world to realise how serious the problem is,'' Robinson
     told a news conference in Budapest. She was speaking during a Budapest
     conference aimed at addressing the modern-day trade in people,
     attended by 38 countries and 129 governmental organisations.
     U.N. figures showed that as many as four million people are smuggled
     into foreign countries each year,
     generating up to $7 billion in illicit profits for criminal
     Another participant said that central and east Europe became a source
     of women forced into the sex trade
     by dire economic conditions.
     ``The problem is a direct result of economic transition,'' said
     Gillian Caldwell, co-director of the
     Washington-based human rights organisation Global Survival Network.
     A participant from the Ukraine, one of the main sources of trafficked
     women, also confirmed that view. ``Some 80 percent of the unemployed
     in the Ukraine
     are women,'' said Oksana Horbunova, manager of the Ukrainian human
     rights group La Strada.
     Monday, June 22, 1998 Published at 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK
     BBC World: Europe
     Women trafficking conference
     A three-day international conference on the illegal trafficking of
     women is beginning today in the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
     More than one hundred delegates from thirty-eight countries are
     attending, and Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights at
     the United Nations is addressing today's meeting.
     Delegates describe the problem as a modern slave trade in which women
     are bought and sold into prostitution.
     Many of the women come from eastern Europe and are
     sent to work, often against their will, in bars and brothels in the
     west and Japan.
From Sat Jun 27 06:47:25 1998
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Date: Sat, 27 Jun 1998 06:51:54 EDT
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Subject: news: UN on trafficking; Bangladesh; Japan; Burma; Prince sex slavery
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Subject:03/23: Asian economic crisis boon to organised crime-U.N.

Asian economic crisis boon to organised crime-U.N.

MANILA, March 23 (Reuters) - A U.N. official said on Monday the Asian
economic turmoil could boost organised crime and called for tough laws
enable governments to track down international criminals and seize their
bank accounts.

Organised crime has become such a menace that up to five percent of the
global gross domestic product -- between 300 and 400 billion dollars
annually -- is estimated by the International Monetary Fund to come from
laundered money, the official said.

Alberto Bradanini, a special assistant at the United Nations Office of
Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), made the call at the opening of a
three-day Asian ministerial meeting in Manila on transnational crime.

"Let us band together with strong resolve to eradicate this world-wide
evil...the monster that is transnational crime," Philippine President
Ramos told the meeting attended by ministers and senior officials from

The U.N.-organised meeting is to discuss an international action plan to
combat drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, corruption,
trafficking of women for prostitution and paedophilia.

"Experience has shown that in times of economic distress, organised
groups will tend to make use of a changing environment," Bradanini said.

"The current economic and financial turmoil in Asia could be an
opening for organised crime."

Bradanini was referring to possibilities of money laundering whereby
profits from criminal activities would be transferred to troubled Asian
economies in the guise of legitimate investments, diplomats said.

"Investigators must have access to banking information about known
criminals and governments ought to pass banking legislation which would
establish universal customer identification (and) authorise the seizure
from the proceeds of crime," he said.

He said the ODCCP would help governments pass stricter banking laws that
would open the financial system to criminal investigators, leading to a
crackdown on those hiding illegal profits.

"Transnational organised crime has become a major force in world
Bradanini said, adding there were more opportunities now for drug
traffickers and other criminals to make their dirty money "clean."

"Getting the economic fundamentals right is not enough anymore. There
to be accountability, incorruptible civil services, a strong judiciary
a free press."

Bradanini said U.N. research confirmed organised crime was increasing
around the world, including Asia-Pacific.

He cited a survey which estimated that between 1990 and 1994, bribery
corruption had increased 55 percent and fraud by 50 percent in Asia.

05:45 03-23-98

Subject: 05/05: Women, child trafficking in Bangladesh

Women, child trafficking in Bangladesh

.c Kyodo News Service

DHAKA, May 5 (Kyodo) - By: Zahiduzzaman Faruque The return from India
month of 217 Bangladeshi women and children discovered to be victims of
human trafficking drew attention again to a regional problem which the
efforts of governments, women groups, nongovernmental organizations
and human rights activists have so far been unable to stop.

These rescued women and children, ferried back to Bangladesh at the
intervention of the Bangladeshi government and human rights
were among the luckier victims of a heinous trade that has claimed
numbers, and continues to do so.

There are no exact figures on how many women and children have been
trafficked from Bangladesh to other countries, but a report last month
the Center for Women and Children's Study said more than 200,000
Bangladeshi women were trafficked from 1990 to 1997, with 6,000 children
trafficked, abducted or reported missing during that time.

International crime syndicates are believed to be behind this trade in
human misery, operating through paid agents in the countries concerned.
some cases they effectively buy children from their poor parents for
sums by offering the hope of employing them in an affluent second

The most widely used technique to recruit women is also the hope of a
better job abroad, or sometimes the promise of marriage. Traders even
charge their unwitting victims money to make their promised deals seem

It is known, too, that women are also sometimes paid by the traffickers
accompany children on their fateful cross-border journeys -- revealing
economic reasons lie at the heart of the whole issue.

Analysts say that unless immediate measures are taken to address these
economic reasons which make most victims easy prey for traffickers,
will be little hope of ending this appalling trade.

But since the improvement of socioeconomic conditions in a resource-poor
country like Bangladesh cannot be achieved overnight, steps toward
this trade have tended to be temporary and gradual.

Several reports over the years have revealed that the traffickers use 20
main points in 16 western districts of Bangladesh near the Indian border
run their trade. The main trafficking route is Dhaka-Mumbai (formerly
Bombay)-Karachi-Dubai, and many of the victims end up in Middle East

Children are often used for sadistic practices such as camel jockeys in
desert races, as well as in sex shops. They are also used for begging or
raw material for international human organ traders who deal in kidneys,
eyes, or other body organs.

Many of the women end up in brothels in Pakistan and India or as sex
of affluent people of Middle East nations.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed stressed the urgency of
clamping down on the trafficking of women and children at the South
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Male of the
in 1997 and had the issue included in the Male Declaration in an effort
fight the menace through concerted regional efforts. Women's groups are
also attempting to counter the trade under the banner of the South Asian
Alliance Against Trafficking.

The Bangladeshi government has so far acted quickly in cases of tracing
arranging the repatriation of victims once they are tracked in other
countries. It has previously enacted the Suppression of Immoral
Act of 1993 and other stringent laws against women and child repression,
and the cabinet recently approved a move to enact a new law retaining
death penalty for such trafficking.

The government is now working on a five-year action plan in cooperation
with UNICEF, or the United Nations Children's Fund, and various NGOs to
make people more aware, especially parents, of the dire perils of human

AP-NY-05-05-98 0445EDT

Copyright 1998 The Kyodo News Service.

Subject:04/07: U.N. report hails Japan on sex slavery issue: Muraoka

U.N. report hails Japan on sex slavery issue: Muraoka

.c Kyodo News Service

TOKYO, April 7 (Kyodo) - Japan's chief government spokesman said Tuesday
new U.N. human rights report hails the government-initiated private fund
for its aim of relieving the suffering of women who were forced to
sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II.

The government takes the report as ''positively'' rating the fund and
government efforts, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka told a
news conference.

The report on violence against women, submitted Monday to the U.N. Human
Rights Commission, points out Japan's failure to acknowledge its legal
responsibility over the so-called ''comfort women.''

''Comfort women'' is the term used in Japan for women, mostly Asians,
were forced to have sex with Japanese troops during World War II.

At the same time, it welcomes some measures taken by the Japanese
government, such as an apology from the prime minister to surviving
and the payment to eligible women of lump sums from the Asian Women's
which was set up in 1995 largely on government initiative.

Muraoka made no comment when asked about reports that the Japanese
government had put pressure on U.N. special rapporteur Radhika
Coomaraswamy, who compiled the report, not to take up the sex slave

In its Tuesday evening edition, the major daily Mainichi Shimbun
from Geneva that Coomaraswamy told Japanese legislator Ko Tanaka that
Japanese government repeatedly asked her not to include any account of
issue in the report.

Coomaraswamy, a Sri Lankan legal expert, was appointed to the post in
and has since been researching violence against women.

In 1996, the U.N. commission decided to ''take note'' of her last
which urged the Japanese government to pay compensation to the women and
punish those involved in enslaving them. But the new report dropped that

Historians say about 100,000 to 200,000 women in Asia, mostly Koreans,
forced to have sex with Japanese troops in front-line brothels during

The Japanese government maintains that all war claims were settled by
postwar treaties.

AP-NY-04-07-98 0532EDT
Subject:03/11: S. Korea To Aid Former Sex Slaves

S. Korea To Aid Former Sex Slaves

.c The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea plans to compensate women who were
enslaved in Japanese army brothels in World War II, then recover the
from Tokyo, officials said Wednesday.

Japan has offered privately donated money to all surviving sex slaves,
most South Korean victims turned down the compensation, demanding that
come directly from the Japanese government.

``The aging women will be paid first before they die, and then the
government will try to recover the money later from the Japanese
government,'' said Yang Mi-kang, a spokeswoman for 155 former sex slaves
registered in South Korea.

The national news agency Yonhap, quoting government sources, said the
women, most poor and in their 70s, each will receive about $39,380 by

In December, Taiwan gave similar aid to its ``comfort women'' - the
Japanese army's name for the enslaved women.

Historians estimate as many as 200,000 women - mostly from Korea and
Asian countries - were taken to front-line Japanese brothels. No one
how many are still alive, because most keep their pasts secret.

Tokyo, which did not acknowledge the episode until just a few years ago,
argues that all wartime compensation claims were settled through peace
treaties. Instead, it arranged for the establishment of a private Asian
Women's Fund to extend financial assistance.

AP-NY-03-11-98 1339EST

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.
Subject:04/07: Myanmar tightens laws against prostitution

Myanmar tightens laws against prostitution

YANGON, April 7 (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government has tightened
country's laws to curb the growing prostitution trade, state media
on Tuesday.

The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) amended the
Suppression of Prostitution Act, 1949 and raised the jail term for those
convicted of the offence to a maximum of five years, the media said.

Previously, the prison term was ``not less than one year and not more
three years.'' Under the amended law that term would rise to ``not less
than one year and not more than five years.''

Amendments to the law also redefined the term brothel to include any
building, room, any kind of vehicle/vessel/ aircraft or place habitually
used for the purpose of prostitution or used with reference to any kind
business for the purpose of prostitution.

The media said this was to cover those who ran prostitution rackets in
guise of opening message parlours or beauty parlours in cities including

``It has therefore become necessary to review the provisions of existing
laws in order to protect young women against being degenerated and
the spread of HIV virus and AIDS threatening the world,'' the news

Prostitution has become rife in many cities across country since the
embarked on a path toward a market economy in late 1988.

Some local analysts attribute the increase in prostitution to the growth
tourism and the worsening economy.

``The authorities seemed to have turned a blind eye to what was
in the hotel industry in the past,'' one analyst said.

``I honestly believe it appeared as a side effect of unscrupulously
encouraging hotels and tourism sector,'' he said.

``To make matters worse, unemployment and inflation, both of which have
been out of control, keeps forcing many young women to fall easy prey to
this illegal industry, which has been traditionally frowned upon in our
society,'' he added. ^REUTERS@
Subject:03/06: Prince Removed From Sex-Slave Suit

Prince Removed From Sex-Slave Suit

.c The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal judge removed Prince Jefri Bolkiah of
from a $90 million lawsuit filed by a former Miss USA, who claimed she
tricked into a $21,000-a-week job in a ruse to make her a prostitute.

U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled on Thursday that Prince
the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, is protected by the Foreign
Immunity Act and cannot be sued in the United States.

Last year, she dismissed the sultan from Shannon Marketic's lawsuit for
same reason.

A Los Angeles-based talent agency remains a defendant.

``Marketic has had her day in court,'' the sultan said in a statement

Ms. Marketic's New York lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, called the ruling
``totally wrong'' and said he would appeal.

``She did not have her day in court. That's what we wanted.''

Ms. Marketic was Miss California in 1992 and Miss USA 1992-1993.

Her suit claimed she accepted a deal from Kaliber Talent Corp. for
promotional work in the oil-rich Southeast Asia kingdom. Instead, Ms.
Marketic claimed she and six other women were held as virtual prisoners
32 days and told they were expected to engage in sexual activity at
all-night parties.

AP-NY-03-06-98 2117EST

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