Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Southern Africa Counter-Trafficking Information Campaign

The IOM regional office for Southern Africa this week launched a national counter trafficking helpline and information campaign.

The helpline and information campaign are two of several counter-trafficking projects being implemented as part of IOM's Southern African Counter-Trafficking Assistance Programme (SACTAP).

SACTAP's "Seduced, Imported, Sold" information campaign aims to raise awareness amongst the general public about international trafficking in women and children to and from South Africa for purposes of sexual exploitation, encourage members of the public to report known or suspected cases of sex trafficking, and inform victims in South Africa that they can seek direct help by calling the national, 24-hour toll-free helpline: 0800-555-999.

Source: IOM Press Briefing Notes.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sudan admits rights abuses, including rape, by allies in Darfur

The Sudanese government has acknowledged for the first time that its militia allies in Darfur have committed serious human rights abuses, including rape, and given the United Nations a list of 30 suspects, Khartoum dailies said.

The list was handed over to the UN Human Rights Comission's international observer, Emanuel Akoy, by Justice Minister Ali Mohammed Osman Yassin, the papers said.

Rape was among an array of accusations levelled against the 30, despite longstanding denials by Sudanese officials of rights watchdog Amnesty International's accusations that rape was being used systematically as a weapon in the suppression of the 18-month-old armed rebellion by ethnic minorities in Darfur.

"The government does not deny that human rights abuses occur and it will not protect those who commit them," Ali Mohammed Osman Yassin admitted on Sunday.

In July, Amnesty International accused Khartoum of crimes against humanity and expressed particularly concern about wide-scale rape and other forms of sexual violence against women, including kidnapping, sexual slavery and torture.

Source: AFP.