News/US:White House Fact Sheet: Combating Trafficking in ...

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Subject: News/US:White House Fact Sheet: Combating Trafficking in ...
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 10:15:28 EDT


           White House Fact Sheet: Combating Trafficking in ...

OTC 3-22-00 9:47 PM

  WASHINGTON, March 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today
by the White House:
    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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