A move by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice during Carnaval is aimed at raising the awareness of sex professionals when it comes to the trafficking of women.
The initiative marks the beginning of another phase of the Program to Prevent and Combat Human Traffic, which is focused on certain Brazilian states and specific segments of the population.
According to Marina Oliveira, coordinator of the program in the Ministry, the intention is to make clear to the potential targets of human traffic decoys the risks they are running.
The information appears on the wrappers of condoms distributed by the government. Ceará was the state chosen to launch this phase. Around 20 thousand condoms furnished by the Ministry of Health were sent to Fortaleza and cities in the interior of the state.
“Besides alerting to the risks, there is information about where to go to seek help or lodge complaints. The women are lured under the pretext of a better life, guaranteed employment, and a bigger salary, as well as the chance for social inclusion,” Oliveira explained.
She informed that a diagnosis conducted by the Ministry identified Ceará as one of the main sources of women who are shipped abroad for purposes of sexual exploitation.
The survey also discovered a considerable number of victims in the states of Goiás, Rio, and São Paulo. The principal reception points include Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and countries that share borders with Brazil, such as Surinam, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia.
Combatting international human traffic is one of the priorities of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Administration in the overall campaign against criminal organizations.
In October, 2004, the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, launched the national campaign against human traffic.
One of the measures was to place educational inserts in passports and condom packages, together with radio announcements and posters in airports, Federal Police superintendencies, and locales where large crowds circulate.
Translation: David Silberstein