[Stop-traffic] Re: US secretary of state calls for global fight agains...

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] Re: US secretary of state calls for global fight agains...
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 21:15:06 EDT

It's pretty amazing that some people are going around saying that
Albright and H. Clinton aren't strong on trafficking. Albright is
very strong on trafficking - read below for details.


> US secretary of state calls for global fight agains...
>APws 6/8/00 5:57 PM
>Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
>The information contained in this news report may not be published,
>broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of
>the Associated Press.
> Associated Press Writer
> UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and
>U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged 180 nations Thursday to accelerate
>progress toward equality for women as concern mounted that a few countries
>might succeed in rolling back the landmark 1995 Beijing agreement on
>women's rights.
> With the five-day special session of the U.N. General Assembly set to
>end Friday, negotiators meeting behind closed doors were still arguing
>about many of the issues that dominated the Beijing debate -- reproductive
>and sexual health, sexual rights, inheritance, adolescent sex education,
>and safe abortions.
> In an unusual intervention, reflecting his concern at the outcome of the
>conference, Annan noted major parts of the final document remain unresolved
>and called on delegates to work together "to ensure that the gains made by
>women in Beijing five years ago are consolidated, protected and advanced
>further," U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.
> Declaring "many of our sisters still live surrounded by the four walls
>of poverty and exploitation, discrimination and conflict," Albright said
>the conference must "chart a path that will lead to ever-more rapid
>progress in the new century."
> "It is no longer possible, after Beijing, to deny that women's rights
>are human rights, and are indivisible from the universal rights of every
>human being," she said, to applause from the crowd.
> "Our movement to recognize and support women's rights is one of the most
>revolutionary and uplifting forces now shaping the world," Albright said.
>"And it is still young, still blossoming, still only beginning to spread
>the good news of opportunity and equality for women."
> Albright's speech touched on many issues in the 150-page Beijing
>platform for action: advancing development to eliminate poverty which
>affects mainly women and children, ending discrimination, and exploitation
>of women.
> Trafficking in human beings is a rapidly growing global criminal
>enterprise that distorts economies, endangers neighborhoods and robs
>millions -- mostly women and children -- "of their dreams," she said,
>urging all nations to join in "a multi-year, multinational effort to win
>the fight against trafficking."
> Theresa Loar, director of U.S. President Bill Clinton's Interagency
>Council on Women, said one million people are trafficked every year,
>including 50,000 into the United States.
> The debate on the final document is echoing the dissent that marked
>Beijing over reproductive and sexual issues.
> A coalition of anti-abortion and religious activists blamed rich Western
>nations for pushing "radical language" on abortion, sexual rights and
>homosexual rights.
> Women's activists and several delegates accused the Vatican and a
>handful of Islamic and Catholic countries -- including Libya, Algeria,
>Iran, Sudan and Nicaragua -- of blocking consensus on the final document.
> The Vatican and conservatives also object to the Beijing platform's
>reference to nontraditional families, which they view as an implied
>blessing of homosexual unions, single parents and couples living together
>out of wedlock.
> Albright, who attended the Beijing conference, referred indirectly to
>some Islamic and developing countries that insist cultural traditions and
>practices must take precedence over the Beijing platform.
> "It is no longer possible, after Beijing, to argue that abuses against
>women are merely cultural and that there is nothing any of us can do about
>them," she said. "Because when a woman is raped, beaten, or mutilated, it
>is not cultural, it is criminal. And no government, after Beijing, can deny
>its responsibility to stop these crimes."
> Despite the strong concerns about the final document, delegates and
>women's rights groups pointed to some progress in the behind-the-scenes
> Bene Madunagu, board chairman of the Girls Power Initiative in Nigeria,
>said the conference agreed to recognie "marital rape" as a violation of
>women's rights.
> Kathy Hall Martinez of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Law
>and Policy, said activists are also heartened at planks to better address
>the HIV/AIDS impact on women and asking governments to consider
>gender-related persecution and violence as grounds for asylum.
> Regardless of what happens in the final negotiations, she said, the
>final document will reaffirm the Beijing platform and women's organizations
>have already made it "a living and breathing document."

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