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USA/Sweden: Team up to fight sex trafficking

Publish Date: 25 Mar 2005

Source: U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs

U.S., Sweden Team Up to Fight Sex Trafficking of Women, Girls

Trafficking prevention project to operate in 12 European countries

The United States and Sweden are contributing approximately $330,000 each over two years to a project aimed at addressing the connection between sex trafficking and prostitution, according to a March 25 State Department media note.

"The U.S. and Sweden share common ground in fighting sex trafficking by addressing violence against women, the demand for sexual exploitation and the links between prostitution and human trafficking," said Ambassador John R. Miller, director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.  "By going after buyers, we can dry up the market for prostitution and the demand for sex trafficking while protecting victims."

The project will operate in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Serbia and Montenegro, according to the media note. Two non-governmental organizations - The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the European Women's Lobby - are spearheading the project.

Following is the State Department announcement:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 25, 2005

MEDIA NOTE

United States and Sweden Join Forces to Protect Women and Girls from Sex Trafficking

The United States and Sweden are teaming up to fight the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.

In a joint effort, the countries are funding the Prevention Project to support frontline non-governmental organizations to combat human trafficking and prostitution in 12 European countries.  The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the European Women's Lobby, both non-governmental organizations, are spearheading the effort.

The Prevention Project will address gaps in gender equality, the demand for sex trafficking victims, and the connection between human trafficking and prostitution.  The bilateral program also will help promote equality between women and men as a fundamental part of democracy and human rights.

The United States and Sweden are contributing approximately $330,000 each over two years to the project, which will operate in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Serbia and Montenegro.

Ambassador John R. Miller, director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, called the partnership an important action to reduce the demand for human trafficking.

"The U.S. and Sweden share common ground in fighting sex trafficking by addressing violence against women, the demand for sexual exploitation and the links between prostitution and human trafficking," Miller said.  "By going after buyers, we can dry up the market for prostitution and the demand for sex trafficking while protecting victims."

The United States opposes legalized or normalized prostitution because it is inherently harmful and dehumanizing and fuels the growth of human trafficking.  Sweden has criminalized the buying of sexual services as an important tool in stamping out sex trafficking and gender inequality.  The United States Government estimates that nearly 70 percent of all victims trafficked across borders are used for commercial sexual exploitation, and women and girls constitute 80 percent of all trafficking victims.

For an interview with Ambassador Miller, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Caroline Tetschner at (202) 312-9648 or Gannon Sims at (202)312-9893.

http://usinfo.state.gov/gi/Archive/2005/Mar/25-58457.html

Copyright © 2005 U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs