News/LATVIA: TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS A UNIVERSAL PROBLEM,

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Subject: News/LATVIA: TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS A UNIVERSAL PROBLEM,
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 22:29:56 EST


19Nov99 LATVIA: TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS A UNIVERSAL PROBLEM, LATVIAN
PREMIER TELLS OSCE.
Text of report in English by Latvian news agency LETA

Riga, 19th November: "Trafficking in human beings is a universal problem
requiring increasing attention. We in the Baltics are aware of it and are
trying to cope with it in a preventive way," Prime Minister Andris Skele
said in his speech to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul yesterday.
The premier noted in his speech that President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, in her
address to the Conference on Women and Democracy in Reykjavik one month
ago, urged serious steps to reduce the pressure of the growing demand that
has generated a dangerous and degrading trade in human flesh, affecting not
only women, but also children throughout Eastern Europe.
The premier recalled that in 1992 the Council of Baltic Sea States was
established - a sub-regional body, including the Nordic and the Baltic
states, Poland and Russia - to develop cooperation and resolve common
problems of the region.
In 1995, the leaders of the member states established a special Task Force
on organized crime in the Baltic Sea region. The Task Force has proved to
be an effective framework for carrying out joint police operations which
can prevent and disclose transnational criminal activities in areas such as
drug trading, illegal migration and trade in stolen cars, said Skele.
The premier said that this autumn the Task Force on organized crime has
decided to deal with the problem of trafficking in human beings. During the
meeting of the Task Force this September, the representatives decided to
increase attention to the problem of trafficking in women and children in
the region. As a first step, analysis of the current situation will compare
the legislative acts of the states and will establish the illegal migration
routes of trafficking in human beings.
"Trafficking is frequently a regional phenomenon which involves states with
different levels of welfare," said Skele, adding that "concrete actions in
the field, not brilliant documents, is what will give our organization
lasting and respected role in our continent".
According to Skele, concrete action is what the people of Latvia have
appreciated with regard to the OSCE involvement in Latvia, namely the
closing of the Skrunda radar station.

Source: LETA news agency, Riga, in English 1142 gmt 19 Nov 99.
BBC Worldwide Monitoring/ (c) BBC 1999.
BBC MONITORING INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
BBC MONITORING FORMER SOVIET UNION - POLITICAL 19/11/1999

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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