Public hearing in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies discusses human trafficking law

Brasília, 11 June, 2014 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) participated in a public hearing held yesterday by the Special Commission of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies to discuss the draft bill 7370, which is about the prevention and repression of internal and international trafficking in persons and attention to victims.

In the opinion of the experts who participated in the event, the main contribution of the draft bill is the typification of the many modalities of human trafficking, which includes organ trafficking, labour in conditions similar to slavery, servitude, illegal adoption and sexual exploitation. According to them, the gaps in Brazil's current legislation do not allow authorities to promote the due criminal liability of perpetrators and the efficient collection of data about trafficking in persons in the country.

The Director of the Department of Justice, Titles and Ratings of the Ministry of Justice, Fernanda dos Anjos, explained that there are penal types for the criminal liability of some of these crimes, but there isn't a specific law that typifies and allows the punishment of the crime of trafficking in persons.

According to dos Anjos, the current Brazilian legislation does not allow punishment in the case of other forms of exploitation associated to human trafficking, such as the exploitation of begging and the exploitation to commit crimes, besides the different roles performed by the many actors that make up criminal organizations.

During the public hearing, the Operations Manager and Legal Advisor of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, Rodrigo Vitória, congratulated the Brazilian authorities for the elaboration of draft bill 7370 and stated that the text, once approved, will allow Brazil to comply with what is recommended by the Palermo Protocol.

Vitória praised the fact that draft bill 7370 encompasses virtually all the previsions of the international legal system, calling attention for the fact that it deals with prevention and criminalization of human trafficking, as well as the issue of attention to victims. He also pointed out that draft bill 7370 provides that principles and guidelines related to human dignity must be respected.

Besides that, Vitória also highlighted the need for the draft bill to include a point about the irrelevance of victim's consent for the typification of human trafficking, as well as the inclusion of a prevision for punishing the attempt to commit the crime.

The representative of the Network of Centers and Posts for Combating Trafficking in Persons, Juliana Felicidade Armede, considered the need for a specific action in border areas to prevent human trafficking, as well as for the development of informative campaigns with Mercosur to promote safe migration and for the availability of funds resulting from loss of assets in benefit of trafficking victims.

The General Coordinator of the Federal Central Administrative Authority of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency, Francisco George de Lima Beserra, analysed Brazil's Adoption Law and the challenges of countering illegal adoption for the purpose of trafficking and exploitation.

The next hearing of the Special Committee will be held on 24 June at the Deputies Chamber.

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