New/USA: THE WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY - FACT SHEET - COMB

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Subject: New/USA: THE WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY - FACT SHEET - COMB
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Apr 26 2000 - 08:00:31 EDT


3-23-00 USA: THE WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY - FACT SHEET -
COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN.
RDATE:22032000
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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(C) 2000 M2 Communications Ltd.
M2 PRESSWIRE 23/03/2000


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