Venezuela NGOs attack ILO Report

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Donna M. Hughes (dhughes@uriacc.uri.edu)
Mon, 24 Aug 1998 17:10:21 -0400


Venezuelan NGOs Blast ILO's Proposition To Recognize Prostitution As
"Prosperous Activity"

- report by VHeadline/VENews correspondent Patrick J. O'Donoghue --
VHeadline/VEnews: Friday, August 21, 1998 --

Reactions have been
     swift to an International Labor Organization (ILO) call on Asian
     governments to officially recognize the prosperous sex industry
     and start collecting taxes. The Venezuelan Chapter of Coalition
     Against Trafficking of Women has issued a statement condemning
     ILO official, Lin Leam Lim, who was responsible for making the
     ILO announcement at its Geneva HQ. Coalition spokeswomen, Zoraida
     Ramirez says "The ILO as well as other government, non-government
     and international organizations can't escape corruption and
     internal decomposition."

     The ILO's proposal is based on a study which reveals that sex
     trade represents between 2 to 14% of Asian countries' GDP.
     Although the organization clarified that it wasn't in favor of
     legalizing prostitution, the statement declared that there were
     advantages of recognizing it as an economic sector. International
     Movement of Apostolate of Children (MIDADEN) deputy president,
     Angel Gonzalez says "it's like saying that Andean Region
     countries should recognize narco-trafficking as an economic
     sector for the amount of money being poured into the economy
     through money-laundering and should start collecting taxes from
     narco-traffickers, which is akin to legalizing the trade."

          Ramirez criticizes ILO's provision that prostitution
          should only include adults and not boys and girls.
          "Everyone knows that the Asian sex trade is centered
          around child prostitution ... Lin Leam Lim is a lackey
          of the Asian sex trade like so many others ...
          prostitution is a form of slavery."

     Gonzalez adds "It's hypocritical. It was the ILO that mounted the
     failed Global March Against Child Labor and now this! While it's
     intention is to face up to economic facts, it seems to forget
     humanitarian issues behind prostitution and the damage inflicted
     on real persons."


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