News/US: U.S. TO TOUGHEN LAWS AGAINST SEXUAL SLAVERY

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Subject: News/US: U.S. TO TOUGHEN LAWS AGAINST SEXUAL SLAVERY
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 10:53:18 EST


                  U.S. TO TOUGHEN LAWS AGAINST SEXUAL SLAVERY

OTC 2/24/00 1:43 AM

 Washington, Feb 23, 2000 (EFE via COMTEX) -- The illegal trafficking of
women, smuggled into the United States and subjected to sexual slavery and
other degrading activities, has become a growing business which will meet
stricter opposition, Congress announced Wednesday.
   A U.S. Senate foreign affairs subcommittee discussed the issue in a
meeting Wednesday, in which they heard accounts from several victims and
Washington human rights officials.
   "They hire us as nannies and when we arrive in the United States they
force us to have sexual relations with an average of 35 men per day, six
days a week, for 12-hour periods," said "Ines" of Veracruz (Mexico), who
asked to remain anonymous for fear her family would be harmed if the
smugglers identified her.
   She said that the sexual exploitation in houses of prostitution
increases on weekends, when they are forced to engage in sexual relations
with a greater number of men, and are also subjected to other
humiliations.
   According to "Ines," some 50,000 women of diverse nationalities are
brought to the United States each year to work in such conditions.
   She said that unknown men hired her to work in a restaurant in the
United States, demanding a 2,500 dollar "smuggling fee."
   However, they forced her to pay off the debt by working as a
prostitute.
   The Senate subcommittee, which is part of the Foreign Relations
Committee, is currently gathering information about this illegal activity
in hopes of passing stricter laws against sexual slavery.
   Criminal groups from all over the world participate in this illegal
business, including Mexico, the Philippines, Nigeria, Thailand, Ukraine
and Albania. EFE
              By Rosendo Majano
     rm/av/bp

Agencia EFE S.A.


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