13 March 2015

Greetings from New York

Written by Jane Munro
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csw59 350It is cold here and there is a fair bit of snow on the ground.

We've caught up with the other WUCWO women and discussed CSW, current trends and what is being promoted.

There have been several Parallel Events on Trafficking, some of which have been very disturbing. One, run by American Mothers, had Deborah Sigmund as guest speaker. Deborah runs an organisation called "Innocence at Risk", set up to help and protect young children trafficked into the US, from other countries, for use in the pornogarphy industry. She was approached by a film producer who offered support. With the help of a substantial US grant, the film was launched, in 2007.

This led to Deborah being approached by American Airlines seeking assistance. Flight Attendants were alarmed at seeing young children either travelling alone or with someone who did not appear to be related. The Innocence at Risk team wrote a training manual, called "Blue Lightning" and set up a 24 hours help line for Flight Attendants. By following two unaccompanied children, whose movements were reported to the hotline, US Homeland Security was able to bust a huge pornography operation.

Today, most WUCWO member representatives attended a Parallel Event run by C-FAM, called "Hidden Victims of Sexual violence: Children Born of War". Children born as a result of rape do not have international protection; there is record of their existance; because they were conceived during the genocide they are not considered to be survivors; they have no voice, often no nationality. Amnesties set up after the conflict,to resolve issues, do not mention these children; soldiers whose rape of local women resulted in their lives are able to claim that the Amnesty has 'forgiven them unconditionally' and so excape responsibility for their children. The plight of these children and their mothers moved many of us to tears.