News/EU: MR. VITORINO ANNOUNCES EU INITIATIVES TO CONFERENCE ON

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Subject: News/EU: MR. VITORINO ANNOUNCES EU INITIATIVES TO CONFERENCE ON
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 10:27:39 EST


Does anybody know about this?

Melanie

11-16-99 EU: EU/TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN.
MR. VITORINO ANNOUNCES EU INITIATIVES TO CONFERENCE ON PREVENTION CAMPAIGN
IN HUNGARY AND BULGARIA.

Budapest, 15/11/1999 (Agence Europe) - In an address in Budapest on 12
November for the launch of the information campaign in view of the
prevention of trafficking in women in Hungary and Bulgaria, organised in
the framework of the new Transatlantic Agenda, European Commissioner
Antonio Vitorino underpinned the high priority that the European Union and
United States (represented by Ambassador Peter Tufo) placed on the
international fight against trafficking in human beings.
Despite the good results already secured by European initiatives in this
field (the first Commission Communication, in November 1996, on the
trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation; STOP programme
that led to the co-funding of 67 projects to combat the sexual exploitation
of children; Joint Action of February 1997 which "criminalises" a series of
offences of this type and introduces severe penalties; DAPHNE initiative
involving NGOs), the conclusions of the Tampere Summit clearly confirmed
that EU Heads of State and Government want to go further, said Mr.
Vitorino. In Tampere, he stressed, Member States were invited to set up
joint teams, including Europol, to conduct investigations into the traffic
in human beings.
Mr. Vitorino explained that, before the European Parliament, he had already
undertaken to ask his services to prepare detailed proposals in the first
half of next year on the alignment of penal provisions in Member States
concerning the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual
exploitation.. The first step will consist in drawing up a report for the
Council on the way in which Member States had implemented the February 1997
Joint Action, he said, announcing that the European Commission would then
identify any weaknesses and make proposals, especially on the granting of
limited residence permits for victims willing to testify before the courts.
In addition, the Commission will propose renewing the STOP programme for a
five-year period from 2001, and open it up to all applicant countries. In
this field, we are obviously expecting improvements to the legislation and
administrative structures in all applicant countries, said Mr. Vitorino,
stressing that this would be "an important element in their efforts to join
the European Union".
Not Available for Re-dissemination.
(c) Agence EUROPE, Brussels 1999.
AGENCE EUROPE 16/11/1999

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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