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United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 58th Session, 18 March – 26 April 2002
Items 14 and 15 of the agenda.

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Social justice activists internationally have hailed as progressive and humane the 1998 report The Sex Sector: The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia. Edited by Lin Lean Lim of the International Labour Office in Geneva, the book recommends that the sex industry be included in official government accountings, first, because of its enormous contributions to regional economies, and second, as the only way to improve the situation of those employed as sex workers. With a recognised sex sector, governments would be required to extend labour rights and protections to people who work in it. At the same time, the report unequivocally demands the eradication of child prostitution as a serious human rights violation and an intolerable form of child labour.

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On May 21, the US House gave the final congressional approval to a bill that provides funding for a five-year US$15bn plan to fight HIV/Aids around the world. The bill now proceeds to President Bush for his signature. It is expected that he will urge other states at the G8 meeting early next month to follow the US lead in committing significant funds to fighting HIV/AIDS.

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