Foto: Lia de Paula

Countries need to invest in the trafficking in persons combat

May 31, 2011 - To investigate the domestic and international trafficking in persons in Brazil, its causes, consequences, routes and criminals between 2003 and 2011. This is the goal of the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on Human Trafficking of the Brazilian Senate, that heard, this Tuesday, May 31, the representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Brazil and the Southern Cone, Bo Mathiasen, the Justice and Governance Unit Program Official of UNODC, Rodrigo Vitoria, the president of SaferNet Brazil, Thiago Tavares Nunes de Oliveira, and the Chief of Police Delano Christopher, from the Human Rights Division of the Federal Police.

During the Public Hearing, the UNODC representative, Bo Mathiasen, spoke about the role of UNODC in combating the Trafficking in Persons, and stressed the importance of international cooperation to combat this crime. "Human trafficking is a new crime for the criminal justice systems. But every country has a duty to protect its population. Therefore, because it is one of the main forms of transnational organized crime, it is necessary that countries join efforts to combat trafficking in persons. International cooperation is essential to fight this crime that crosses borders and shames us all," he said.

Bo Mathiasen said that Brazil has demonstrated commitment to combating trafficking in persons, but that we still need more investments. "Brazil has joined the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols. The country has a national law, has a National Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons that follows the principles of the Convention. But it is necessary that countries invest more in prevention, protection of victims and witnesses, in police investigation and in ending impunity," said Mathiasen.

The Justice and Governance Officer of UNODC, Rodrigo Vitoria, spoke about the partnership that has existed since 2006 between the Brazilian government and the UNODC to fight trafficking in persons and highlighted the efforts of the Brazilian government. However, Vitoria said that there is room to improve national legislation on human trafficking. "The legislation contemplates only trafficking related to sexual exploitation. Labor exploitation and the illegal removal of organs are considered crimes, but the legislation doesn't contemplate trafficking for these purposes", said Victoria.

Trafficking through the Internet

Among the issues that most caught attention during the Public Hearing is the use of Internet to entice victims. According to the president of SaferNet Brazil, Thiago Tavares de Oliveira, there is a list of about 700 sites that supposedly recruit models which were, anonymously, denounced to SaferNet. "We already have email accounts suspected of being used by agencies to entice young people to both domestic and international trafficking related to sexual exploitation," he said.

The rapporteur of the Commission, Senator Marinor Brito (PSOL-PA), anticipated that the committee will investigate such agencies. "We should identify the fake model agencies and establish evidence that they are using the Internet for sexual exploitation through trafficking," she said.

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