News/US: Wellstone & Brownback Bills

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Subject: News/US: Wellstone & Brownback Bills
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 09:51:49 EDT


                                    Sex Slaves

APn 4-12-00 2:00 AM
The Associated Press.

    By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
  Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two senators want to see life sentences imposed on
people who bring young children into the country to work as sex slaves.
    Sens. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., plan separate
bills aimed at cracking down on an illegal industry the CIA said brings
50,000 women and girls into this country every year.
    "Sex trade is the new slavery," Brownback said. "Our estimates are that
700,000 primarily young girls are trafficked a year. It's one of the most
awful aspects of the new global economy."
    Wellstone called the practice "morally outrageous."
    The only difference in the senators' bills, which will be unveiled
Wednesday, is how they would punish countries that don't meet "minimum
standards" to eliminate sex trade trafficking.
    Brownback's bill calls for sanctions to automatically be imposed for the
most serious violators. Under Wellstone's bill, the president would have
the discretion to impose sanctions on such countries. A House bill takes a
similar approach.
    Brownback said his review provision would kick in only for the most
egregious cases, where a country is participating or turning a blind eye to
the trade. Both senators said they would support whichever bill makes it
out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    Both senators want life sentences for people trafficking children under
14, and a 20-year prison term for those who bring people 14 and older into
the country to work in the sex trade.
    The legislation also would give victims a "temporary visa" of up to
three years, with the possibility of a longer stay after that.
    "These women are afraid they will be deported" and don't go to the
authorities, Wellstone said.


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