Statement submitted by the World Federation of the
Ukrainian Women's Organizations and World Movement of
Mothers, non-governmental organizations in special
consultative status with the Economic and Social Council
The Secretary-General has received the following statement, which is
being circulated in accordance with paragraphs 30 and 31 of Economic
and Social Council resolution 1996/31 of 26 July 1996.
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Trafficking in and enslavement of women
As organizations that have been involved for many years in the promotion of
basic human rights for humankind and especially women and children, we are
concerned with the recent increase in the trafficking in and enslavement of
women throughout the world and, particularly, at this time, the growing number
from Eastern Europe. The United Nations estimates that there are 4 million
people throughout the world who are victims of trafficking yearly. They are
deceived and coerced into working against their will in different types of
servitude. The International Organization for Migration reports that about
500,000 victims of trafficking enter Western Europe annually.
Young Asian women have been the basic commodity for decades. The newcomers to
the slave market are young, naive Ukrainian, Russian and other Slavic woman who,
because of their economic hopelessness and lack of employment, are entrapped,
enslaved, stripped of their basic human rights and forced to work in houses of
prostitution in various parts of the world. This trade in human flesh has become
so lucrative that international organized crime is taking full advantage of the
easy money and the lack of laws and stiff punishment. Many of these women are
imprisoned in overcrowded living conditions and are threatened and beaten and
not fed if they protest or do not perform sex with the "clients". All traces of
these women are lost; they disappear forever. They have no legal status in the
countries to which they are forcibly sent and no recourse to law enforcement.
Governments seem to be indifferent to this growing trafficking in women and
girls and are not implementing the 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the
Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The
effective suppression of trafficking in women and girls for the sex trade should
be a matter of pressing international concern.
Trafficking in women and girls is a debasement of the human spirit for both the
victim and the perpetrators and collectively for the societies involved.
This modern day slavery cannot continue!
We as well as Zonta International, the National Council on Family Relations, the
International Union of Family Organizations, the World Union of Catholic Women's
Organizations, the Women's International Democratic Federation, the
International Health Awareness Network, the International Federation on Ageing,
World Information Transfer, the International Alliance of Women, and the Global
Alliance for Women's Health, supporting non-governmental organizations, appeal
to all Governments to take definitive action to resolve this human tragedy.
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