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    POWELL OPENS CONFERENCE ON COUNTERING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

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    MOSCOW, January 27. (RIA Novosti correspondent)-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called upon the world to unite in the struggle against human trafficking.

    Opening an international conference on this topic in Moscow on Tuesday, Mr. Powell stated that the world must unite to fight this evil.

    The chairwoman of the human rights commission under the president of Russia, Ella Pamfilova said that more than 700,000 people in the world - men, women and children - become victims of slave trade every year.

    The previous State Duma adopted amendments to the Criminal Code that, for the first time ever, introduced the notion of "slave trade" and threatened the participants in this process with serious terms of imprisonment.

    But the basic law "On Countering Human Trafficking," which was also drafted by State Duma deputies, has not been adopted yet, noted Yelena Mizulina, one of the authors of the law and a deputy of the previous Duma. She deemed adoption of this law to be an absolutely necessary measure to counter human trafficking.

    As many as 83 non-government organizations from Russia and other countries are participating in the conference.

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