On Behalf of La Strada Ceska' republika Dipl.-Pol.
The Czech-Ukrainian conference, "Trafficking in Women in the Post-communist Countries of Central and Eastern Europe," that took place November 27 - 28, 1997 in Prague was organised by La Strada Czech Republic in cooperation with the La Strada Centre for International Women's Rights in the Ukraine. For the first time, a discussion was initiated on trafficking in women in central and eastern European countries. The increase in cases of women trafficked to the Czech Republic from eastern Europe urged us to extend the discussions and strategies not only to the EastWest level, but also to the East-East level. Therefore in November we invited not only NGOs working in the field but also representatives of governments, police officers, embassy employees and social workers, etc. Because of the great interest in the conference, its originally bilateral character had to be expanded and ultimately representatives form Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Germany and the Netherlands participated. This interest showed us that there is a need within post-communist countries to find joint strategies against trafficking in women, an issue that represents a big threat to democratic development in the countries of the former eastern block. We hope that our November conference was a first step that will be followed by further discussions and proceedings by state authorities as well as NGOs.
We would like to thank the Police Museum of the Czech Republic, for providing the space for the conference, the Phare and Tacis Democracy Programme, the Matra - KAP fund of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and proFem: Central and Eastern European Centre for Women's Activities for financial assistance. Finally we want to thank everyone, especially the members of NGOs, who assisted us with the preparation of the conference and to the participants who, through lively and effective discussions, helped to achieve concrete results.