News/US: Fact Sheet on Trafficking of Women and Children in South As

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Subject: News/US: Fact Sheet on Trafficking of Women and Children in South As
From: by way of Melanie Orhant (debra@oln.comlink.apc.org )
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 - 09:55:31 EST


Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
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## author : Publications-Admin@pub.pub.whitehouse.gov
## date : 23.03.00
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                             THE WHITE HOUSE
                      Office of the Press Secretary
                              (Agra, India)
________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release March 22, 2000

                               FACT SHEET

        Combating Trafficking In Women And Children in South Asia

The Clinton Administration is leading key international efforts to stop
the trafficking of women and children around the world. The State
Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development recently
launched four new programs totaling nearly $1.6 million to assist
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in implementing prevention
efforts, providing assistance to victims, and improving coordination
between law enforcement officials and local NGOs.

The new programs reflect President Clinton's sustained commitment to
fight trafficking of women and children, as set forth in his Executive
Memorandum issued on International Women's Day in March 1998.

The vulnerability of women and children to criminals engaged in
trafficking is rooted in poverty and the low social status of women.

While the commitment of many anti-trafficking NGOs in South Asia is
strong, the majority of them need additional support to continue and
expand their activities in light of the dramatic global increase in
incidences of this horrific crime. In South Asia, research and media
reports suggest that the number of trafficked women and children is
rising, and the average age of the victims is falling. In response to
these alarming statistics, the U.S. government has committed to the
following:

Working with the United Nations Development Fund for Women

USAID has approved a $1.3 million grant to the U.N. Development Fund for
Women (UNIFEM) for a program to combat the trafficking of women and
children in South Asia.

This three-year grant will fund regional activities that directly
complement the bilateral efforts of USAID mission programs in India,
Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The grant will assist grassroots,
national, and regional NGOs in South Asia to expand their advocacy
activities and strengthen their networks against trafficking. Regional
prevention efforts will increase public awareness about the realities of
trafficking.

UNIFEM will assist NGOs to design and evaluate models of successful
prevention efforts. A South Asia Anti-Trafficking Information Center
will also be established in the region to promote stronger collaboration
among NGOs working on anti-trafficking projects and greater exchange of
information on prevention and prosecution programs.

Supporting India's Anti-trafficking Coordination

The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
at the U.S. Department of State has approved $70,000 for two Indian NGO
projects to develop and conduct training programs to improve
anti-trafficking coordination among law enforcement officials and local
NGOs.

Strengthened law enforcement and prosecution of traffickers is critical
because the crime remains a high profit, relatively low-risk
transnational criminal enterprise. Improving coordination among law
enforcement officials and NGOs serving victims ensures that traffickers
are detected and punished, and that victims are afforded the protection
and assistance they need to rebuild their lives.

This funding will support interactive training for border officers,
police, prosecutors and judges in Calcutta and New Delhi. Police and
judicial officials will participate in workshops designed to assist in
building successful prosecutions of traffickers and abettors. Border
officers will also receive in-depth instruction on recognizing potential
trafficking situations.

The State Department is contributing $200,000 to anti-trafficking
activities specifically in India. This additional funding is part of a
$1.5 million effort in the South Asia region using Economic Support
Funds (ESF). Central to the strategy in India will be: strengthening
enforcement of existing laws, supporting NGO shelters for victims of
trafficking, and supporting rehabilitative programs, including skills
training and income-generating activities.

                                  # # #


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