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Elimination of trafficking in women


>From Atsuko Tanaka


As an organisation committed to the elimination of racial discrimination 
and racism, the International Movement Against All Forms of 
Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) approaches trafficking in women and 
children not only as a question of the rights of women, children and 
migrant workers, but in terms of discrimination against the person's 
ethnic identity as well.  This distinguishes IMADR's strategy in two 
ways. First, IMADR pays special attention to the interests and welfare of 
the victims and survivors of trafficking, particularly those belonging to 
minorities. Second is an action-oriented approach that recognises the 
weighty arguments over the definition of prostitution but places priority 
on enhancing the area of common actions and practical measures.

Adhering to this approach, IMADR will organise, alone or in association 
with other NGOs, three seminars intended to formulate recommendations for 
strengthining the use of regional and international mechanisms, 
particularly those of the United Nations, toward the elimination of 
trafficking in women and children. 

The first of those meetings is a regional seminar entitled: "South Asia 
Dialogue on Trafficking in Women and Children Toward the Adoption of the 
SARRC Convention" which will be held at the Pegasus Reef Hotel in 
Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 11 - 12 February 1999. This Seminar will highlight 
the efforts of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation 
(SAARC) to draft a regional convention on preventing and combating 
trafficking in women and children for prostitution, as well as the 
recommendations of many NGOs within the region which have been forwarded 
to the SARRC secretariat. As the first ever regional legal regime 
specifically targeting the prevention of trafficking in women and 
children, it gives an enormous impetus to other regions and the 
international community as a whole to address this issue.

The second seminar which will link the first meeting on the regional 
meeting on the regional efforts in South Asia and the third meeting on 
the efforts and mechanisms on the global scale (mentioned below) is going 
to take place at the Asia Youth Center in Tokyo, Japan from 21 to 23 
March 1999, which is entitled: "Asian Dialogue on Trafficking in Women 
and Children: Toward the Strengthining of Intra-Regional Cooperation".  

And the last of the series of the seminars is the "NGO Seminar on Global 
Sex Industry" (tentative title) which will be organised by IMADR jointly 
with Anti-Slavery International, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women 
and International Human Rights Law Group on 21 - 22 June 1999, in Geneva, 
Switerland, in conjunction with the twenty-fourth session of the Working 
Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery of the UN Sub-Commission on 
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The main 
objectives of the Geneva Seminar will be, among other things, to provide 
those UN experts, bodies, Specialized Agencies and Intergovernmental 
Organisations which have directly or indirectly dealt with the issue of 
trafficking in women and children with the first-hand information on the 
current situations of trafficking in different parts of the world and 
with the diverse views taken by NGOs working actively on this issue in 
regard to the ways and means to eliminate trafficking. The Seminar is 
expected to produce concrete recommendations to be considered by the 
Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and other UN entities.  

For further information, please contact one of the following contact 

Ms. Nimalka Fernando
IMADR President
IMADR-Asia Committee
141 Anadarajakaruna Mawatha
Colombo 8, Sri Lanka
tel./fax: +94 74 617711
tel.: +94 1 576672 or +94 72 47595
fax: +94 1 500544
E-mail: imadr@xxxxxx

Ms. Yuriko Moto or Mr. Hisao Ikeuchi
IMADR International Secretariat
3-5-11 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan
tel.: +81 3 3586 7447
fax: +81 3 3586 7462
E-mail: imadris@xxxxxxxxx

Ms. Atsuko Tanaka
IMADR Representative to the United Nations
150 route de Ferney
C.P. 2100
CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
tel.: +41 22 791 6263
fax: +41 22 791 6480
E-mail: imadrun@xxxxxxxxxxx or atsukot@xxxxxxxxxxx

We look forward to your participation in any of the aforementioned 

Yours sincerely,

Atsuko Tanaka
IMADR Representative to the United Nations
IMADR-UN Office, Geneva