[Stop-traffic] News/US: Law to protect women passes U.S. Senate 95-0

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Law to protect women passes U.S. Senate 95-0
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 11:02:29 EDT

The new US anti-trafficking legislation covers all forms of
trafficking, not only trafficking for forced prostitution.


                   Law to protect women passes U.S. Senate 95-0

RTw 10-11-00 11:53 PM

Copyright 2000 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.
The following news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole
or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd.

     By Christopher Wilson
      WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The Senate unanimously passed on
Wednesday a final version of legislation to help protect women from
domestic violence and combat global traffickers who force thousands of
women into the sex trade.
      The measure, approved 95-0, will be sent to President Bill Clinton to
be signed into law.
      Overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives last week, it
reauthorizes the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and provides $3.3 billion
over five years to to expand an infrastructure of shelters for battered
women and children and to prosecute wife beaters aggressively.
      The Clinton administration made renewal of the law a priority and has
said that it resulted in a 21 percent drop in violence against women since
it was first enacted.
      The previous act expired on Sept. 30, but the latest bill will
reauthorize and expand the original legislation to provide more shelters
for victims and give grants to cover battered women in college residences
and those trapped in violent dating relationships as well as victims of
stalking and sexual assault.
      "It also provides full-faith-and-credit enforcement and computerized
tracking of protection orders by prohibiting notification of a batterer
without the victim's consent when an out-of-state order is registered in a
new jurisdiction," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who played a
leading role in driving the legislation through the Senate.
      The "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution requires states
to recognise most of the laws, public records and judicial decisions of
other states.
      The sex-trafficking part of the legislation, co-sponsored by
Republican Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Paul Wellstone of Minnesota,
appropriates $95 million to combat the growing practice, which is fast
becoming a top source of income for organised crime.
      It provides punishment of up to life imprisonment for traffickers,
makes assistance available for victims who wish to sue their captors,
provides shelter and authorises changes in immigration laws to allow relief
from rapid deportation so human smuggling cases can be prosecuted.
      Sex trafficking is believed to involve over 1 million women and young
girls worldwide, an estimated 50,000 of whom are forced into prostitution
or other forms of slave labour in the United States alone.
      The broad legislation also contains a provision to make it easier for
former hostages and other victims of terror to collect compensation from
nations that sponsor such acts.
      Supporters defeated an attempt by Republican Sen. Fred Thompson of
Tennessee to kill a provision known as Aimee's law, that will force states
to pay costs if a criminal is released from prison and goes on to commit a
crime in another state.
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