Cablegate: Trafficking in Persons: Visit of Ambassador

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/15/2014


Classified By: This message has been classified by Labor Officer

k Del Vecchio. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Begin Summary: Special Ambassador John Miller visited
Brazil November 29-December 3 to survey Brazilian efforts to
combat trafficking in persons. Ambassador Miller found that
Brazilian efforts to educate and raise awareness have been
outstanding in many areas, but more needs to be done
(including changes in legislation) to arrest, convict and
imprison traffickers. Brazil also is in the process of
improving its efforts for offering counseling, education and
vocational education for victims. Ambassador Miller had a
receptive audience for his arguments that international
cooperation and changing attitudes among those who frequented
prostitutes were necessities in dealing with trafficking.
End Summary.

2. (C) Special Ambassador John Miller visited Brazil November
29-December 3 to survey Brazilian efforts at combating
trafficking in Persons. Program officer Linda Brown
accompanied Ambassador Miller during visits to Foz do Iguacu,
Sao Paulo, Goiania and Brasilia. Subsequently a DOJ/DHS team
led by Anne Estrada visited Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo
Horizonte, Recife, Fortaleza, Goiania, Brasilia and Foz do
Iguacu during the period December 1-11 (reported septel).

Foz do Iguacu

3. (C) In Foz on November 30, Ambassador Miller visited one
of the Sentinela centers for sexually abused and exploited
minors. The center serves as a reference center for children
and adolescents, who are evaluated and then given counseling,
medical attention, and other services. Later, Ambassador
Miller met with the Committee to Combat Abuse and Sexual
Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in Foz. The
Committee outlined the way government and non-governmental
organizations in Foz work together to prevent the commercial
sexual exploitation of minors (nearly always trafficked).
Ambassador Miller also saw a presentation by an educational
outreach group that carried an awareness campaign concerning
trafficking into schools.

Sao Paulo

3. (C) December 1, Ambassador Miller visited the newly
established Sao Paulo State Office to Combat Trafficking in
Persons. The State of Sao Paulo established the office after
several conferences bringing together NGOs, media,
government, and international experts on the problem of
trafficking. The Public Affairs section of the Consulate
played a key role in helping get the office up and running,
both supporting the two meetings and providing an initial
grant of 20,000 dollars to the office. Ambassador Miller
toured the office and learned that among other activities, it
has arranged for the Federal Police to insert a leaflet in
each new issued passport warning of trafficking, and that the
will have a reference center at the Sao Paulo international
airport for victims who have been trafficked internationally
and are returning to Brazil.

4. (C) Ambassador Miller also met with the State Secretary
for Justice, Rafael Moreira, and subsequently held a joint
press conference (covered by five national media outlets).
Ambassador Miller and the State Secretary emphasized the need
for international collaboration in ending the problem and
cited the office as a good example of the kind of cooperation
that can make a difference--as the office resulted from
efforts from the Sao Paulo State Government, the Federal
Ministry of Justice, the USG and the NGOs. At a lunch with
NGO representatives and public prosecutors, among others,
Ambassador Miller learned of some of the difficulties of
prosecuting trafficking cases in Brazil, given the relatively
weak legislation. Ambassador Miller also met with consular
representatives of various destination countries to learn
their perspectives on the trafficking.


5. (C) December 2 in Goiania Ambassador Miller called on the
newly established State Office to Combat Trafficking in
Persons. The Ministry of Justice selected the state of Goias
as one of its four pilot states for offices to combat
trafficking because many women from Goias have been
trafficked to Europe, especially Portugal and Spain. The
State Prosecutor Laura Bueno explained that the office is in
the process of setting up, and will be conducting outreach to
warn potential victims. The Federal Police officer in
charge of Immigration in the state, Luciano Dornelles
explained that he had an on-going investigation involving a
ring trafficking to Spain, and that he would be making
arrests soon. (As noted reftel, he made the arrests the next
day.) He said traffickers took women from Goias exclusively
to Europe, and that though smuggling of people including
children into the US existed, he had not discovered
trafficking of women.

6. (C) Also in Goiania Ambassador Miller visited the
headquarters of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) to met
with representatives of the Commission and Catholic Relief
Services (CRS). The CPT representatives outlined the problem
of trafficking men to plantations where they work as forced
labor. CRS will execute one of the projects under the
President's 50 Million Dollar Initiative, designed to raise
awareness concerning trafficking in the locales where
recruiters work, to increase legal representation for workers
who have been trafficked and liberated, and to begin to
generate other employment opportunities for these workers.


7. (C) In Brasilia, Ambassador Miller met with
representatives of the office of the National Secretary for
Justice. They clarified Brazilian trafficking laws,
explaining that the Brazilian penal code outlaws only the
international trafficking of women for sexual exploitation,
and not any form of internal trafficking, including of
workers for forced labor. (Forced labor per se is outlawed,
but trafficking for that purpose is not specificly punished.)
These laws made prosecuting and convicting traffickers
difficult. The Ministry of Justice has proposed changes that
would make all types of trafficking subject to criminal
penalties. The Brazilian Congress now has the legislation
for consideration. The Director of the Labor Inspectorate,
Ruth Vilela, confirmed the difficulty of prosecuting
traffickers in forced labor, but noted that the government
had found other ways to punish them, including denying any
form of government-based credit to farms and plantations
where forced labor had been found. The Foreign Ministry
representative stressed that Brazil regarded trafficking as a
serious problem and that the MFA had strengthened the effort
to reach out
to trafficking victims in Brazilian embassies and consulates
located in destination countries. Ambassador Miller
concluded by giving an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo,
Brazil's largest circulation daily newspaper. He stressed
the need for international cooperation, the importance of
changing attitudes toward prostitution, and highlighted some
of the on-going efforts to combat trafficking in Brazil and
other parts of the world.

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