Human Trafficking Case Law Database
As in many other regions, trafficking in persons takes place in Brazil in varying forms but with growing frequency. In Latin America, information and public acknowledgement regarding what has happened to the victims and, more importantly, what States achieve in response to their individual cases, is scarce.
One recent and significant contribution to bridging the current global knowledge gap regarding human trafficking is the UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database, which Brazil, this month, has committed to supporting.
Brazil is a country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking. The states most affected by international human trafficking include Goias, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Human trafficking within the country is also of major concern though data is less complete.
Although the latest complete national data is outdated - from 2002 - indications are that the crime of human trafficking occurs in every part of the country and may have even greater proportions than currently documented.
In order to enhance national action and contribute to the international effort to fight human trafficking, the UNODC Regional Office for Brazil and the Southern Cone, together with the Brazilian National Justice Council (CNJ) and the National Secretary for Justice (SNJ) have committed to collecting and disseminating information regarding all judicial action in Brazil on human trafficking through the UNODC global Human Trafficking Case Law Database.
It is expected that by the end of 2012 at least 50 Brazilian judicial proceedings will be documented in the UNODC Case Law Database.
This announcement was made during the opening session of the International Symposium for Combating Human Trafficking, held in Goiania on 14 and 15 May. The meeting, organized by the Brazilian National Council of Justice and the Court of Justice of the State of Goias brought together international and Brazilian authorities involved in the prevention and repression of human trafficking and care for victims of human trafficking in order to raise awareness, discuss specific substantive and procedural issues and enhance the coordination and cooperation between organizations and individual practitioners.
On the first day of the Symposium, Mr. Bo Mathiasen, regional representative of UNODC, stressed the importance of having a legal basis, backed by enforcement action to combat human trafficking. "We know that human trafficking is one of the cruelest forms of organized crime and it is not possible to move forward in the fight against it without a solid and comprehensive legal basis, capable of providing the necessary tools to rigorously punish the entire chain of criminals involved. It is only possible to fight transnational organized crime if criminals have the perception that there is a real risk of being punished", said Mathiasen.
In Brazil, UNODC has, since 2006, provided technical assistance for the fight against human trafficking. Brazil has a Network for Combating Human Trafficking, formed by diverse bodies of the Federal and State Governments, the Legislative, the Judiciary, Prosecutors and civil society, coordinated by the Ministry of Justice. Currently, this network counts 6 advanced points for combating of human trafficking and 15 centers, responsible for identifying, assisting and protecting possible victims of human trafficking. Further information regarding these efforts is available at the webpage of the UNODC Regional Office for Brazil and the Southern Cone.
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