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Release: Immediate

International Mondays seminars continue in March

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- International Mondays!, a University of Iowa seminar series specially engineered for internationally-minded people, continues this month with presentations on human rights in West Africa, foreign student admissions, the UI Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies , and forced prostitution in Thailand. These seminars, presented by individuals who have had an international experience, will be from noon to 1 p.m. every Monday in the International Center, Room 230, unless otherwise noted. There will not be a presentation Monday, March 16, which falls during the UI spring break. The sessions are free and open to the public.

Following is a schedule of upcoming seminars:


March 2, "Human Right Issues in West Africa: The Implications for Regional Political Stability and Economic Development"

Yenner Karto, a UI student who was born in Nyor Gbaawea -- a tiny village in eastern Liberia, will discuss the post-colonial West African era that lacks a reliable and strong judicial system that protects people from human rights abuse. Karto spent three years in a Liberian prison before escaping to the Ivory Coast where he lived at a refugee camp from 1990-93. In June 1993 he moved to Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque. He is now a graduate student and research assistant in the Third World development support program at the UI. Karto will speak about how the creation of large urban areas in West Africa after the country was colonized attracted many people from their villages and tribes. As the cities grew, no one recognized the need for new social, legal and political institutions to protect people. Karto will speak about the consequences caused by the absence of such legal framework, describe the violence and popular uprisings that resulted and explain how this chain effect has undermined national and regional political stability severely hampering economic development.


March 9, "Economics and Ethics of Foreign Student Admissions, and Damaging Practices"

Margaret Vaughan will discuss long-term and short-term economic consequences of foreign student admissions in the U.S. In a presentation based on her 36 years of experience teaching and advising foreign-students, she will discuss the economic and ethical ideals universities think they are advancing by opening their doors to foreign students when, in reality some of their practices are actually damaging to foreign students. Vaughan will discuss the ways in which some programs avoid such practices and will describe ethics rules that could bring practice closer to ideals. Vaughan directed all foreign student admissions at the UI from l963-l967.

March 23, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREES)

Elizabeth Constantine, a Ph.D. candidate in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, will discuss the activities and ongoing projects of the UI Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES). Constantine came to the UI in November 1997 to make use of the resources CREEES offers as she works on her dissertation examining the impact of the Soviet Ideology of Womanhood on Uzbek Women. She spent two years in Uzbekistan doing fieldwork and conducting interviews.


March 30, "Trafficking in Women: Burmese in the Thai Sex Trade"

Ohmar Khin, coordinator of the Burma Project of Refugees International, Washington, D.C., was one of many students who worked to bring democracy to Burma in 1988, only to witness the violent crushing of the progressive movement by the government and to be forced into exile. In 1992 she received a fellowship to study the problem of Burmese women forced into prostitution in Thailand, part of a worldwide phenomenon involving many thousands of women from poorer countries who are recruited by richer countries for marriage, prostitution and domestic service.