Brazil’s campaign against human trafficking will be intensified at the international airport of Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco, in Northeast Brazil, during Carnaval, which starts today and ends on Tuesday.
This effort is the fruit of a partnership between the Pernambuco state government, the Recife municipal government, and the Latin American Institute for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights.
The campaign consists of the distribution of pamphlets in Portuguese and English, informing tourists about ways to prevent the traffic and places where they can lodge complaints.
According to the manager of the state program for the prevention of human traffic, Ricardo Lins. of the Secretariat of Social Protection, each year over 100 thousand women in Brazil are victims of human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation.
According to data from the Federal Police, most of them are taken to countries in Europe, such as Portugal, Spain, and Germany.
“The state of Pernambuco is one of the main routes for this type of crime, which primarily affects women and children,” he affirms.
The state is currently investigating 77 cases of human traffic, and 40% of them involve women lured into prostitution under false pretenses of jobs. The rest have to do with organ removal and forced labor.
In the state of Ceará, the Justice Ministry is using prostitutes to spread the word against women traffic. Brazil’s Health Ministry has also joined in having sent 20,000 condoms to Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará and cities in the interior of the state. The condoms wrappers bring information on the dangers of such traffic.
Marina Oliveira, the program’s coordinator, says the main objective of the campaign is to make the public aware of the problem.
“Besides informing about the risks, we also tell people who to contact for help or for lodging a complaint. Women are seduced with promises of a better life, a guaranteed work and better wages.”
According to Oliveira, Ceará is one of the main doors through which women are taken from Brazil to be sexually exploited overseas. The Ministry’s data also show a considerable number of victims coming from the states of Goiás, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
These women end up mostly in Europe, in countries like Spain, Portugal and Switzerland. Many of them also are taken to Suriname, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia, all nations sharing a frontier with Brazil.
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