The seven-member South Asian bloc Saturday endorsed two conventions in a bid to stem the trafficking of women and children for prostitution.
Foreign ministers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries signed The Regional Convention on Combating the Crime of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution and the Convention on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia, giving effect to an agreement reached at the previous summit in Sri Lanka in 1998.
Tens of thousands of women and children are forced into prostitution in South Asian countries and some are held as sex slaves while an increasing number of children are deployed as combatants in the region.
"With these conventions we have expressed our concern for the protection of women and children," said Nepalís Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who took over as chair of SAARC from President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankaís Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando in conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh during the 11th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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