Netherlands Boycotts UN Conference on Trafficking in Women

2007 2007-03-12T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”


The Netherlands was not represented at a UN conference on trafficking in women because Belarusian Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumau took part in it, Ahmed Dadou, a spokesman for the Dutch foreign ministry, commented to BelaPAN.

’The government of the Netherlands decided not to send any diplomatic representative to the conference because minister Navumau, who is suspected of involvement in political disappearances in 1999-2000 and is listed on the EU visa ban list since 2004, acted as co-sponsor of this conference’, Mr. Dadou said. ‘This decision was welcomed by a broad majority in the Dutch parliament’.

’The Netherlands attaches great importance to combating the trafficking of women and girls’, the spokesman stressed. ‘In this respect, practical cooperation exists between Dutch and Belarusian law-enforcement agencies, and The Netherlands has supported initiatives to raise public awareness about the issue in Belarus’.

The 5 March conference in New York, titled ‘Trafficking in Women and Girls: Meeting the Challenge Together’, was initiated by Belarus, the Philippines, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and Vital Voices, an American non-governmental organization.

Prior to the conference, Belarusian opposition leaders had petitioned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to bar General Navumau from attending the conference.