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Type of document: News
Topic: Actions/initiatives/projects
Law enforcement
Policy and Planning
Geographic descriptors: United States of America
Language: English
Publisher: Europaworld
Date of publication: 29 October 2004
Long Abstract: Ms. Arbour says many Member States, however, still take a law-and-order approach, prosecuting victims as illegal aliens and undocumented workers rather than as victims of crimes. " Women and young girls are trafficked into the sex industry often do not receive any assistance and are often charged with the crime of prostitution instead." Earlier this week, in an address to the Assembly's social, humanitarian and cultural committee (also known as the Third Committee), Ms. Arbour said the rule of law must be central to every human rights initiative. She said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed in December 1948, sets out the legal framework for shaping worldwide efforts to protect and uphold human rights. But she added that in recent years many countries were winding back rights in the name of fighting terrorism, and she urged countries to battle terrorism within existing rights and the rule of law. Mrs. Arbour's report details the work of her Office over the past years, including its monitoring of the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region and in Iraq. The Office has also been involved in efforts to help draft and gain support for global conventions protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities. In a separate development, at a meeting in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, representatives from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam signed a memorandum of understanding that binds them to help them deal with human trafficking in the Mekong river region, one of the world's hotspots for the problem. The agreement - the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region – includes measures to establish a network to repatriate victims to their home countries, improve extradition procedures and create links between specialist police units in each State. Hailing the agreement, J. K. Robert England, Chair of the Regional UN Working Group on Human Trafficking, said cross-border collaboration is essential to defeating the trade in human trafficking. He also welcomed "the balance between law enforcement and human security that the memorandum of understanding embodies." Charles Petrie, UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar, said the UN system would support the six nations as they moved to implement the accord.
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