Washington, 7 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A large group of Russian judges and law enforcement officers are due to attend a conference in Washington starting today to discuss efforts to prevent the trafficking of Russian women into the United States.
The four-day conference was arranged by the U.S. State Department in response to a request from the U.S. Congress that the issue of violence against women be examined as a part of the U.S. assistance package to Russia. Trafficking involves selling women into such areas as prostitution, pornography, forced marriages and slavery.
The State Department also says the conference is part of a renewed commitment to improve the situation of women around the world. The new commitment is being spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has said she will make women's issues a central priority of American foreign policy. Albright is the first female U.S. secretary of state.