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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Oslo, Norway)
For Immediate Release                                   November 1, 1999

                       PRIME MINISTER KJELL BONDEVIK

We share concern about the growing problem of trafficking in women for the purpose of placing them into slavery-like conditions. This is a problem worldwide, although trafficking in women within the OSCE area has come more into focus recently. The need to address this issue in the Nordic-Baltic region also arose as one of the recommendations of the Reykjavik conference on Women and Democracy. We attach great importance to cooperation between our two countries to focus on the need to combat this problem.

It is important to focus on the economic and social structures that give rise to prostitution and sexual exploitation, and to find methods to empower the women involved.

Norway is proposing to host a conference next spring on trafficking in the OSCE area. The aim would be to (1) develop national and international policies to combat trafficking and (2) to design and put into practice joint action.

The issue should also be addressed at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul. Norway, in its capacity as OSCE Chairmanship, is actively considering the possibility of an event focusing on trafficking on the margins of the Summit.