New action strategies for the war against human traffic are being organized by officials from Brazil and the United States. Among the measures discussed yesterday, December 1st, are greater watchfulness in international airports.
During a meeting between the São Paulo state secretary of Justice, Alexandre de Moraes, and US Ambassador John Miller another point stresse was the need for the identification of places, such as hotels, that can serve as havens for the criminals and their victims.
The Ambassador paid a visit to the Palace of Justice, where non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) carry out policies of prevention in São Paulo.
These activities, which are done in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, have received around US$ 20 thousand this year from the American government.
The idea, according to the secretary, is to extend these activities to other states. There are already plans to set up offices in Goiás, Rio de Janeiro, and Ceará, also to be run in partnership with the Ministry of Justice.
At the same time, the formation of an information network to provide a detailed description of human traffic routes is being analyzed.
Brazil has around 240 routes, and the capital cities with international airports, such as São Paulo, serve as connection points for the departure of people who are negotiated as merchandise for purposes of sexual exploitation.
Many of the victims are seduced by false promises of good jobs. American government data indicate that all over the world there are around 800 thousand victims of human traffic each year. Most of them are women and children removed from their countries.
Ambassador Miller, who is the director of the US State Department Office for Tracking and Combatting Human Traffic, said in his remarks that the President of the United States, George W. Bush, has emphasized the need to stop this type of crime.
Miller observed that, even with strict legislation, the number of people brought to justice in his country should be much greater. Last year, 77 people were condemned for this crime. In his view, a public awareness campaign could help in the effort.
Miller informed that the measures adopted by the United States include Congressional approval of a law determining a 30-year sentence for Americans guilty of sexually abusing children in foreign countries.
There are also initiatives to increase the number of traffic victims rescued, and the dissemination of a consciousness-raising campaign to advise victims of the availability of a direct national toll-free elephone line maintained by the American government, for them to obtain help.
Translator: David Silberstein