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Release: Feb. 21, 2002

International child labor expert to speak at UI Feb. 27

In many Asian countries, female children are deemed of so little value that they are often sold to illegal traffickers who put them to work as prostitutes or in otherwise inhumane conditions. The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) invites people to learn about these horrors and what can be done to stop them on Wednesday, Feb. 27, when Upala Devi Banerjee, an expert in child labor and international workers' rights, speaks on "Trafficking of the Girl Child in South Asia: Child Labor in its Worst Form." Her presentation begins at 4 p.m. in Room 125, Boyd Law Building on the UI campus and is free and open to the public.

Banerjee is the manager of the Child Development Fund and the Governance Support Fund of the Canadian International Development Agency in India and also serves as the India Program Consultant for the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, a U.S.-based organization working on workers' rights issues worldwide. Her areas of expertise include child rights, trafficking in women and children, and gender and labor issues. She has worked with the Asian Network of Women in Communication, South-Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, UNICEF, Department for International Development (DFID) UK, NORAD and Save the Children's Fund-Sweden.

The UI Center for Human Rights is in the midst of its Child Labor Research Initiative, a three-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, which, among other things is working to collect, translate, and establish a database of national laws dealing with the worst forms of child labor. Burns H. Weston, Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Director of the UI Center for Human Rights will chair this special presentation.

Banerjee's presentation is co-sponsored by: the UI Center for Human Rights, UI International Programs, the UI College of Law Amnesty International, and the Iowa Society of International Law and Affairs. Questions about this presentation should be directed to Chivy W. Sok, Deputy Director of the UI Center for Human Rights at (319) 335-3900 or