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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 5, 2006

NOTE TO EDITORS: Sigma Huda will be available for interviews with the media during her visit. To arrange an interview, please contact Tom Snee at tom-snee@uiowa.edu, or call 319-384-0010.

Law School Hosts Bangladeshi Human Rights Leader Sept. 13-14

Sigma Huda, a Bangladeshi human rights attorney, will discuss her work fighting human trafficking during a two-day visit to the University of Iowa College of Law Sept. 13 and 14.

Her visit includes a public lecture about human trafficking at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the student lounge on the fourth floor of the Boyd Law Building. Admission is free.

Working with several Bangladeshi organizations and government agencies, Huda has fought against trafficking and sexual exploitation, particularly of women and girls, from Bangladesh to India. She is currently a board member of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and has organized several international workshops combating trafficking in women and sexual exploitation.

Huda has received much international recognition for her human rights work, including membership on several United Nations committees. In 2004, the UN Commission on Human Rights named her special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.  As special rapporteur, Huda makes recommendations on ways to uphold the rights of trafficked persons, and to develop responses to possible human rights violations to protect victims of trafficking.  Since assuming her mandate, her work on behalf of the United Nations has included fact-finding missions to Lebanon as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina to access the incidence of trafficking in persons.   

Huda's human rights work goes beyond the fight against human trafficking. She is also the founder and current president of the Bangladesh Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA), which has initiated training and advocacy programs to help Bangladeshi women learn more about their legal rights. She is also founder of such groups as the Bangladesh Association for the Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA), the Breast Feeding Foundation, the Acid Survivors Foundation, and she is the secretary general of the Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR). In addition, Huda is a past member of the Bangladesh Labor Law Reform Commission and past president of the Centre for the Training and Rehabilitation of Destitute Women (CTRDW), an organization for the protection of pregnant and abandoned women.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.