Prep-Conferences to UN Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

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Subject: Prep-Conferences to UN Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
From: Jyothi Kanics (
Date: Mon Mar 15 1999 - 12:12:17 EST


As an organisation committed to the elimination of racial discrimination
and racism, the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination
and Racism (IMADR) approaches trafficking in women and children not only
as a question of the rights of women, children and migrant workers, but in
terms of discrimination against the person's ethnic identity as well. This
distinguishes IMADR's strategy in two ways. First, IMADR pays special
attention to the interests and welfare of the victims and survivors of
trafficking, particularly those belonging to minorities. Second is an
action-oriented approach that recognises the weighty arguments over the
definition of prostitution but places priority on enhancing the area of
common actions and practical measures.

Adhering to this approach, IMADR will organise, alone or in association
with other NGOs, three seminars intended to formulate recommendations for
strengthening the use of regional and international mechanisms,
particularly those of the United Nations, toward the elimination of
trafficking in women and children.

The first of those meetings is a regional seminar entitled: "South Asia
Dialogue on Trafficking in Women and Children Toward the Adoption of the
SARRC Convention" which will be held at the Pegasus Reef Hotel in Colombo,
Sri Lanka, on 11 - 12 February 1999. This Seminar will highlight the
efforts of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC)
to draft a regional convention on preventing and combating trafficking in
women and children for prostitution, as well as the recommendations of
many NGOs within the region which have been forwarded to the SARRC
secretariat. As the first ever regional legal regime specifically
targeting the prevention of trafficking in women and children, it gives an
enormous impetus to other regions and the international community as a
whole to address this issue.

The second seminar which will link the first meeting on the regional
meeting on the regional efforts in South Asia and the third meeting on the
efforts and mechanisms on the global scale (mentioned below) is going to
take place at the Asia Youth Center in Tokyo, Japan from 21 to 23 March
1999, which is entitled: "Asian Dialogue on Trafficking in Women and
Children: Toward the Strengthening of Intra-Regional Cooperation".

And the last of the series of the seminars is the "NGO Seminar on Global
Sex Industry" (tentative title) which will be organised by IMADR jointly
with Anti-Slavery International, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
and International Human Rights Law Group on 21 - 22 June 1999, in Geneva,
Switzerland, in conjunction with the twenty-fourth session of the Working
Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery of the UN Sub-Commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The main
objectives of the Geneva Seminar will be, among other things, to provide
those UN experts, bodies, Specialized Agencies and Intergovernmental
Organisations which have directly or indirectly dealt with the issue of
trafficking in women and children with the first-hand information on the
current situations of trafficking in different parts of the world and with
the diverse views taken by NGOs working actively on this issue in regard
to the ways and means to eliminate trafficking. The Seminar is expected to
produce concrete recommendations to be considered by the Working Group on
Contemporary Forms of Slavery and other UN entities.

We look forward to your participation in any of the aforementioned
seminars. For further information, please contact one of the following
contact persons:

Ms. Nimalka Fernando
IMADR President
IMADR-Asia Committee
141 Anadarajakaruna Mawatha
Colombo 8, Sri Lanka
tel./fax: +94 74 617711
tel.: +94 1 576672 or +94 72 47595
fax: +94 1 500544

Ms. Yuriko Moto or Mr. Hisao Ikeuchi
IMADR International Secretariat
3-5-11 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan
tel.: +81 3 3586 7447
fax: +81 3 3586 7462

Ms. Atsuko Tanaka
IMADR Representative to the United Nations
150 route de Ferney
C.P. 2100
CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
tel.: +41 22 791 6263
fax: +41 22 791 6480
E-mail: or

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