Women's Rights : Move to Stop Forced Prostitution at World Cup

Article excerpt

With fans and footballers alike gearing up for this summer's World Cup football in Germany (9 June to 9 July), a campaign has been launched to prevent women being trafficked and forced to work as prostitutes there. Timed to coincide with International Women's Day on 8 March, German Green MEP Hiltrud Breyer organised a hearing in the European Parliament to raise awareness of the problem. In a clear indication of the EU executive's support, four Commissioners attended the conference, most notably Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini who announced concrete proposals to tackle the problem.

FRATTINI PLANS

These include a plan to temporarily re-introduce visa requirements for non-EU nationals wishing to come to the EU who are normally exempt from needing a visa. 33 countries currently feature on the EU's list of visa-exempt third countries. Admitting the idea was an "ambitious" one, Mr Frattini said he had no specific list of countries yet but that the priority would be Eastern Europe, Latin America, parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. He said he would present a proposal to the next meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers - whose backing would be required - in April. He called his plan a "pilot project" that would only last for a 40-45 day period.

Mr Frattini also plans to issue a circular to all member states, instructing them to tighten up controls on the EU's external borders for the World Cup period. The letter will tell visa-issuing authorities to be more rigorous too to ensure people are not granted visas for tourism or cultural purposes when in fact, they are being trafficked for prostitution. He will mandate a study in the coming months to find out what the impact of legalising prostitution has on the trafficking in women. …