Government and civil society representatives participate in inauguration of new body to counter human trafficking in Brazil

Brasília, 30 January 2014 - The 26 members of Brazil's National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons (Conatrap, in Portuguese) took office yesterday in a ceremony held at the Ministry of Justice. During the event, the Minister of Justice José Eduardo Cardozo condemned the crime: "Human trafficking is perhaps one of the most heinous crimes that exist today".

The National Secretary of Justice and President of Conatrap, Paulo Abrão, highlighted the actions that have been undertaken to combat this crime, including the creation of the National Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Blue Heart Campaign, in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "The accomplishments we have already attained show that this is not a plan that will stay only on paper", said Abrão.

The Ministers of Labour and Employment, Manoel Dias, of the Special Secretariat for Human Rights, Maria do Rosário, and of the Secretariat of Policies for Women, Eleonora Menicucci participated in the inauguration ceremony.

The Director of the Department of Public Security of the Organization of American States, Paulina Duarte, the President of the NGO Asbrad, Dalila Eugênia Maranhão, and the General Secretary of the Conference of Bishops of Brazil, Leonardo Steiner, also attended the event.

Bound to the Ministry of Justice, Conatrap was established by Decree No. 7901, from 4 February 2013, and is comprised of seven appointed representatives of the Federal Government; seven elected members of civil society and ten members of national councils, with five of them being from civil society and five from the government, as well as a representative of the Network of Centers and Posts and a representative of the State Committees to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The members elected to the committee take up a two year term.

Book launch

After the inauguration ceremony, the guests attended a lecture by Bandana Pattanaik, International Coordinator of the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women, a network that brings together over 100 non-governmental organizations from all around the world.

Following that, a book was launched: Trafficking in persons: an approach for human rights is the result of a partnership between the National Secretariat of Justice (SNJ/MJ) and the Institute for Law and Citizenship Studies (IEDC). UNODC's work in countering this crime is the topic of one of the book's articles, "The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the fight against trafficking in persons: an approach focused on international human rights law".

The members of Conatrap will meet until the end of the week to discuss various issues related to the duties of the committee, including its methodological structure and strategic planning.

* With information from the Ministry of Justice website

All stories