Re: Commission Chairman: "It's Time to Declare War on Sex

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Subject: Re: Commission Chairman: "It's Time to Declare War on Sex
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Jul 28 1999 - 17:30:18 EDT


Dear List,

I want to thank and support Steven in his consistent support of a broad
definition of trafficking that includes *all* people who are victims of
trafficking. I hope, just as Steven does, that people look beyond just a
moral reason for being outraged about trafficking (prostitution) and look
at all of the human rights abuses that *all* trafficked people suffer.

I also wish that all legislation before Congress defined trafficking as an
abuse against all persons who are trafficked; however, this is not true.
The Wellstone/Feinstein Bill and the one proposed by the Department of
Justice do just that; however, it is very unfortunate that Chris Smith's
bill does not include protections of the other hundreds of thousands of
people who are victims of trafficking.

I hope that everybody supports the Wellstone/Fienstein Bill and/or the DOJ one.

Thank you,

Melanie Orhant

>TO: Listserve
>
>FR: Steven Galster, Director, Global Survival Network
>
>RE: Smith legislation to combat Sexual Trafficking
>
>For the record---
>
>My testimony before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
>was not represented in full in the press release below. I specifically made
>it a point during the hearing --several times-- that (a) trafficking must
>be clearly defined as involving force, coercion or some form of debt
>bondage; and (b) any legislation to combat trafficking should NOT focus
>solely on sex trafficking, but should include ALL victims of trafficking
>(men, women, girls,boys, sweatshop victims, domestic servitude victims,
>etc). Steven Galster, GSN
>
>At 01:58 PM 7/28/99 -0400, Walsh, Maureen wrote:
>>> CSCE NEWS RELEASE
>>> Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
>>> 234 Ford House Office Building
>>> Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
>>> (202) 225-1901
>>> www.house.gov/csce
>>> Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
>>> Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Co-Chairman
>>> Contact: Chadwick R. Gore
>>>
>>> Commission Chairman: "It's Time to Declare War on Sex Traffickers"; Calls
>>> for Passage of H.R. 1356, a Bill "To end international sexual trafficking"
>>>
>>>
>>> For Immediate Release
>>> June 28, 1999
>>> Contact: Chadwick R. Gore
>>> (202) 225-1901
>>>
>>> Washington,DC-The Commission on Security and Cooperation in
>>> Europe today examined an escalating human rights problem in the OSCE
>>> region- the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual
>>> exploitation.
>>>
>>> "Trafficking in human beings is a form of modern day slavery," said
>>> Commission Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ). "When a woman or
>>> child is trafficked or sexually exploited by force, fraud or coercion for
>>> commercial gain, she is denied the most basic human rights-namely, her
>>> rights to liberty and security of person, her right not to be held in
>>> slavery or servitude, and her right to be free from cruel or inhumane
>>> treatment. In the worst cases, she is denied her right to life. Under the
>>> laws and practices in the United States and in European countries,
>>> trafficking victims are denied an effective remedy against those who have
>>> violated their rights. Ironically, it is the women who are trafficked who
>>> end up being arrested in brothel raids, locked up and then deported as
>>> illegal immigrants while their perpetrators rarely suffer repercussions
>>> for their actions," he concluded.
>>>
>>> "It is time to declare war on those that commit these crimes," said
>>> Smith. "That is why earlier this Congress I introduced the Freedom from
>>> Sexual Trafficking Act of 1999, H.R. 1356, which would severely punish
>>> persons in the United States convicted of sexual trafficking, including
>>> recruitment, harboring, transporting, purchasing or selling the
>>> trafficking victim. Non-humanitarian U.S. assistance would not be provided
>>> to foreign countries which do not meet the minimum standards for the
>>> elimination of sexual trafficking. Of critical importance is the
>>> assistance and protection that would be provided to victims of
>>> trafficking, such as the provision of shelters and rehabilitation programs
>>> for victims and limited provision of relief from deportation for victims
>>> who expose their traffickers. These are important and necessary changes to
>>> U.S. law designed to help end this brutal, inhumane, and horrific
>>> exploitation of women and children."
>>>
>>> Commissioner Rep. James C. Greenwood (R-PA) commented, "This is some
>>> of the most heartbreaking testimony I've heard."
>>>
>>> Anita Botti, Deputy Director and Senior Advisor on Trafficking in
>>> the State Department's Office of the Senior Coordinator for International
>>> Women's Issues testified, "Over 50,000 of these women and children are
>>> trafficked into the U.S. annually, primarily from Latin America, the
>>> former Soviet Union and South East Asia. Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the
>>> Czech Republic are major countries of origin in Central and Eastern
>>> Europe."
>>>
>>> Wendy Young, speaking about the threat of trafficking of refugees,
>>> reported, "Despite the lack of concrete data, disturbing reports regarding
>>> the situation of women and children are emerging, including stories of
>>> women and girls caught up in the trafficking network that was already
>>> thriving in the region, especially in Albania. For example, the
>>> Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and others have
>>> reported that existing trafficking rings in Vlore, Albania have smuggled
>>> as many as 10 boatloads of 40 or more Kosovars each night into Italy. The
>>> price paid for the perilous journey is approximately $750 per person,
>>> totaling up to $50,000 each night in profits per smuggler. Among their
>>> number are an unknown number of young women who are recruited or abducted
>>> by the smugglers and forced into prostitution." Wendy Young serves as the
>>> Washington Liaison and Staff Attorney for the Women's Commission for
>>> Refugee Women and Children which is a program of the International Rescue
>>> Committee.
>>>
>>> Steven Galster, Executive Director of Global Survival Network, who,
>>> between 1994 and 1996, led an undercover investigation into the
>>> trafficking of women and girls from countries of the former Soviet Union
>>> to Asia, Europe, and North America, commented, "I believe the United
>>> States Government is now moving in the right direction to combat
>>> trafficking on U.S. soil and abroad...Specifically, U.S. policy on this
>>> issue should emphasize the following components: increase public awareness
>>> [of the trafficking issue]; increase economic opportunities for women at
>>> risk; emphasize national civil rights laws and international human rights
>>> treaties in anti-trafficking enforcement activities; recall the existence
>>> of several international, anti-slavery instruments, which should be taken
>>> into account before OSCE states create new laws or agencies to fight
>>> slavery.
>>>
>>> "An effective response to trafficking would provide a victim with a
>>> stay of deportation for at least the period during which the investigation
>>> and potential trial against the trafficker takes place. Also, don't forget
>>> that these women are potential sources of information that aid law
>>> enforcement actions against organized crime groups. But they must be
>>> guaranteed protection," said Galster.
>>>
>>> Dr. Louise Shelley, American University Professor and Director of
>>> the Center for the Study of Transnational Crime and Corruption, who since
>>> 1995 has conducted a program in coordination with specialists in Russia,
>>> and more recently Ukraine, on the problem of organized crime, pointed out
>>> that the main features of the trafficking problem are heavy involvement of
>>> organized crime; lack of capacity and motivation; complicity and
>>> corruption in law enforcement, passport services and consular divisions;
>>> corruption within NIS law enforcement, border guards and passport
>>> services; absence of law enforcement links; and, absence of victim
>>> protection. Among other points, she recommended that there be cooperation
>>> between telecommunications companies and law enforcement investigations in
>>> the trafficking area particularly in the American-European-Eastern
>>> European-NIS area.
>>>
>>> "Next week," pointed out Chairman Smith, "the U.S. delegation to the
>>> OSCE Parliamentary Assembly meeting in St. Petersburg will be advancing a
>>> resolution I have proposed calling for the governments of OSCE
>>> participating States to develop nationally and internationally coordinated
>>> law enforcement strategies to combat international organized crime,
>>> particularly the role of organized crime in trafficking of women and
>>> children. We are hopeful that the OSCE can be a valuable forum in which we
>>> can work with other governments in the region to bring an end to this
>>> demeaning, exploitive, and violent trade."
>>>
>>> Laura Lederer, Research Director and Project Manager of an extensive
>>> research project under way in the Women and Public Policy Program at
>>> Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, which aims to
>>> gather and disseminate information regarding laws that protect women and
>>> children from commercial sexual exploitation, noted that in studying the
>>> laws of 154 countries, "we find that the prostitution laws, which are
>>> aimed at women and children, are enforced, while the procuration laws,
>>> aimed at the traffickers, are almost never invoked."
>>
>>
>>


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