Nancie Caraway, Ph.D
Director Women's Human Rights Projects
Globalization Research Center
University of Hawaii Manoa
The Human Rights Challenge of Globalization in Asia-Pacific-US
The Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women & Children
November 13, 2002 Honolulu, Hawaii
ALOHA! Welcome to Hawaii. Thank you for that moving pule, Kamaki
and Kauila. That we might begin this conference with such a life-affirming
Hawaiian ceremony. And thank you all for coming so far from your homes to
work with us to stop human trafficking.
We have come to know you all via e mail. We hold in our minds-eye
personal narratives for each of you:
• Did the women from KYOTO firm up their panel?
• Did Elizabeth Protacio from Manila get her ticket ok?
• What? Phil Marshall hasn’t registered yet!
• And the Coup de grace: Our dear friend from Kathmandu, John Frederick,
Director of the NGO Ray of Hope, was suddenly incommunicado for days!
Our conference staff was in a panic without John's counsel and good humor.
Lizards, the Nepalese government announced, had somehow infiltrated their
country's telecommunication system cutting off all e mail! The problem
having being swiftly rectified, John was soon back in cyberspace. We are
ever grateful to the Lizards of the Himalayas for returning John to us!
Presentation of Certificate Proclaiming "Global Human Rights Week"
LT. GOVERNOR MAZIE HIRONO
************** ***************** *****************
I hope you all will take a moment to reflect on my greeting printed in the
front of the program. Many of you have perhaps never been to Hawaii, never
encountered Hawaiian culture. Might have only the most superficial image of a
place with palm trees and beaches --- an image generated by mass tourist
marketing. I say here in the program that Hawaii is the most efficacious site for
a conference dedicated to alleviating human suffering. I say this because the
spirit of Native Hawaiians resonates with respect for diversity, tolerance for the
ideas of others, and a deep commitment to the idea of human flourishing.
Why do we need another conference on trafficking? That is the question
that has haunted me for the past two years since Dr. Deane Neubauer, founder
of GRC, and I began discussing the issue. Why the indulgence of yet another
conference? The traffickers are flourishing. Millions of our fellow global citizens
are everyday subject to the most brutal violations of human dignity. We know
the root causes of human slavery. And we know that the lack of political will and
moral courage of the powerful allow it to spread.
From the very first day we began working on this event, we were caught
in the crossfire of a hateful battle. A divided anti-trafficking community rife with
• "You can't invite her."
• "He cannot be allowed to speak."
• "Silence that point of view."
• Condemn that NGO
• "Expose that wolf in sheep's clothing."
For weeks, during the planning of the conference, I never once thought
about people who are enslaved. I was consumed with this war that we are
waging against one another. I had lost sight of those very victims whose
condition had occasioned the entire project.
I want to say to you all today that here in Hawaii this war must end. The
ideological camps must dissolve. The politics must give way to genuine human
communication. We want this conference to serve as a watershed event, worthy
of your time and precious funds and dedication. This conference can begin a
path toward reconciliation, respect and tolerance.
If it does not, then we are unworthy to claim that we are advocates of
human rights. To claim that our work protects those whose lives are debased.
The names we call each other are reductionist and crude: "abolitionists
versus pro-sex workers." These attacks are corrosive. And we shame ourselves
and our movement by recycling them. It is a self-indulgence that undermines all
Traffickers win when we engage in personal attacks. Traffickers win when
we silence or ostracize those with whom we disagree. Traffickers win when we
bully and threaten those who may advocate one prostitution policy over another.
Now I am not going to insult your sophistication or intelligence. I am not
going to ask you to "open your hearts," to fake some sort of phony love-fest.
We don't all have to love one another. We don't all have to agree on which
policies are effective anti-trafficking tools. This is a university. A place where
conflict and analysis are the lifeblood of creative problem-solving.
Our challenge for the next three days is to open our minds. To engage
one another in respectful collaboration. And remember: This is Hawaii.
Honolulu is called "the gathering place." A place where Hawaiians have always
received strangers generously--despite their suffering a dislocating colonial
history. In the days ahead, I hope we will make a sincere effort to follow the
Hawaiians' wise advice. Let's try to remake ourselves in a manner that allows
our good work to go forward.
HILLARY CLINTON VIDEO