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Smith Introduces Resolution Calling on German Gov't, Athletes and Soccer Fans to Combat Trafficking of Women at World Cup

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Location: Washington, DC


Smith Introduces Resolution Calling on German Gov't, Athletes and Soccer Fans to Combat Trafficking of Women at World Cup

On the opening day of the World Cup in Germany, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees global human rights, introduced legislation calling on the Government of Germany to take immediate action to combat sexual trafficking in connection with the world class soccer championship.

"This legislation calls on the German government to denounce the practices of human trafficking, and to do everything in their power to combat the exploitation of women and children," said Smith who is the author of the landmark US law to combat human trafficking. "The resolution further urges coaches, athletes, and spectators to join in the efforts to end the sexual exploitation of women, prevent trafficking in human beings and to boycott the brothels where so many women will be traded as a commodity."

Smith's timely resolution, H. Res. 860, comes at a time when millions of fans and spectators will be traveling to Germany over the course of the next month for the World Cup. In anticipation of this massive event, Germany's legal sex-trade industry has expanded its ability to accommodate the greater demand.

Smith said that when a greater demand for commercial sex services is evident so to is the pressure to traffic and abuse women at large sporting events.

"Pimping and maintaining brothels provide a façade behind which sex traffickers can operate," he said. "Because Germany has legalized prostitution, cities hosting World Cup games and ‘business people' are free to accommodate this trade in women by constructing brothels and ‘sex huts,' or issue permits for street prostitution, thereby creating a virtual partnership with brothel owners, pimps and traffickers."

"Legalized prostitution is not a policy that the German Government has to embrace. Germany can, and must, do much more to prevent the sexual exploitation of women and children by attacking the demand that fuels this problem."

In his position as Chairman of the Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Relations subcommittee, Representative Smith has scheduled a hearing for June 14th spotlighting the newly released 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report, Forced labor, and Sex Trafficking at the World Cup.

Witnesses scheduled to testify at the briefing include Ambassador John Miller, director of the Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State; Movie Actress and human rights advocate Ms. Julie Ormond; Ms. Sharon Cohn Vice President of Interventions, International Justice Mission; Mr. Charles Kernagan, director of the National Labor Committee; and two Russian trafficking victims: Ms. Masha Gnezdilova and Ms. Irina Veselykh.

http://www.house.gov/list/press/nj04_smith/prSmithWorldCupRes.html

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