Brazil Joins UNODC to Document Cases of Human Trafficking

This week Brazil committed to supporting UNODC’s Human Trafficking Case Law Database. The database is a collection of documented proceedings involving human trafficking. By the end of 2012, Brazil plans to have at least 50 proceedings documented (UNODC, June 2012).

Brazil is a center for trafficking – a source, thoroughfare, and destination for both sex and labor trafficking.

Primarily trafficking in Brazil can be found in states including Golas, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Brazil has already taken several steps to fight human trafficking, including creating a Network for Combating Human Trafficking which includes federal and state governments, the Legislative, the Judiciary, prosecutors, and civil society. UNODC regional office in Brazil, along with the Brazilian National Justice Council and the National Secretary for Justice will now collect data regarding all judicial action against human trafficking in Brazil and enter it into the Human Trafficking Case Law Database.

The UNODC human trafficking database is a major step towards promoting universal interpretation and application of the law when it comes to human trafficking cases. The database gives access to court decisions for judges, prosecutors, policy makers, media, researchers, and other interested individuals when dealing with human trafficking issues. The development of this database will hopefully allow for uniform interpretation to ensure human trafficking cases are handled in a similar fashion worldwide.

Source: Amnesty International Ad

Brazil is not the only country who has pledged its support for the Human Trafficking Case Law Database. Currently 46 countries, including the United States which currently has 102 documented cases for review, are participating. Each case represented in the database contains details regarding the case include names, trafficking routes, verdicts, and testimonies from the victims themselves.

These real-life stories shine much needed light not only on the successful human trafficking prosecutions worldwide, but also on the realities of the crime to promote awareness.

At this point in time only one case is in the database from Brazil. The case includes a successful prosecution against defendant Jaqueline Neto da Silva who was found guilty of trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation/prostitution. Neto da Silva was caught at the airport as she was about to transport her 24 yr old female cousin to Spain for the purpose of profiting from prostituting the victim, a plan the defendant confessed to during the trial. Neto da Silva was found guilty on May 19, 2006 and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

As I reviewed the database, I found it to be a wonderful resource, particularly for someone extremely interested in real-life accounts of successful prosecutions. My hope is that other countries will follow en suite to participate in the database and promote human trafficking awareness worldwide.

To visit the UNODC Human Trafficking Case Law Database, please click here.

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