Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More



Cablegate: Trafficking in Persons and Child Sex Exploitation in The


DE RUEHBR #1468/01 3491855
R 151854Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Trafficking in Persons and Child Sex Exploitation in the
State of Goias

1. Summary: The state of Goias, which surrounds Brasilia, has one
of the highest incidences of human trafficking in Brazil; it also
has a number of officials in the state with a strong commitment to
dealing with the problem. In light of impending direct flights
between Brasilia and Atlanta, which along with facilitating
legitimate travel to the United States also open up new
opportunities for traffickers, and in the wake of a successful
seminar on the subject of trafficking in the state capital of
Goiania, the U.S. Mission is looking into how the USG might enhance
cooperation to stop human trafficking in the state. End summary.


2. On November 18, the Public Ministry (Prosecutor's Office) of
the state of Goias, in partnership with the Supreme Court of Goias,
Association of Children's Advocates of Goias, Federal Senate and
the U.S. Mission in Brazil, held a day-long seminar on "Confronting
Trafficking in Persons and the Sexual Exploitation of Children and
Adolescents." Members of all the sponsoring organizations spoke,
including from the U.S. Mission Charge d'Affaires Lisa Kubiske, an
official of the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (DHS/ICE) and the fraud officer from U.S.
Consulate General Rio de Janeiro. About 600 people were in
attendance - lawyers, judges, police, teachers, social workers,
members of NGOs and representatives of the trucking, taxi and
tourism industries.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Situation in Goias

3. The state of Goias, which surrounds the Federal District in
central-western Brazil, has one of the highest incidences of human
trafficking in the country. At least four out of five cases of
persons trafficked are for the purpose of sexual exploitation, with
the remaining fifth for forced labor of other kinds. From 2004 to
early 2009, 45 accusations of enticement for trafficking of women
were presented to the Federal Public Ministry in Goias.
(Trafficking is primarily a federal matter.) During the same
period, the Federal Police in Goias conducted 32 joint operations
on trafficking of women with police in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland
and Italy.

4. In December 2008, the state Public Ministry identified 582
"points of prostitution" in Goias, at which 131 cases of child
prostitution were discovered. Significantly, almost 90 percent of
the prostitutes interviewed had come from other states. Prosecutor
Everaldo Sebastiao de Sousa, coordinator of the state Public
Ministry's Youth Support Center, said that police repression
succeeds only in moving points of prostitution, not eliminating

5. Prosecutor General Eduardo Abdon Moura, head of the state
Public Ministry, told seminar participants that law enforcement
alone, no matter how effective, cannot stop human trafficking and
the sexual exploitation of children; it is necessary to create
conditions so that trafficked persons have alternatives and are not
re-victimized. That requires the coordinated efforts of many
governmental and nongovernmental actors, with the strengthening of
networks of protection and assistance and establishment of
shelters. So far 51 municipalities in the state have created
Forums for Combating the Sexual Exploitation of Children and
Adolescents, and in December 2008, in partnership with the Federal
Ministry of Justice, the state Public Ministry set up a Nucleus for
Confronting Trafficking in Persons with 40 other institutions and
that has a special focus on prevention.


6. Moura proposed to state court Judge Luiz Claudio Veiga Braga,
representing Chief Justice of Goias Paulo Teles, that the state
judiciary create specialized courts for crimes against children and

adolescents to ensure that such cases are handled sensitively,
effectively and expeditiously. State court judge Rinaldo Aparecido
Barros noted that judges should be "agents of social
transformation" to attack the evils/crimes of pedophilia, child
pornography, child prostitution, sex tourism and trafficking in
persons. He said that one of the biggest problems in dealing with
the issue was the silence of the victims, and "the longer a child
remains silent, the worse the physical, psychological and
behavioral consequences."

7. Barros, as judge, and Bernardo Boclin Borges, as prosecutor,
were involved in the most notorious child prostitution case in the
state's history - in the town of Niquelandia, 270 kilometers from
Brasilia, in 2007. According to Borges, the mayor, the mayor's
daughter, several municipal officials and local business owners
operated a ring in which they exploited children and adolescents as
young as 14 years old. Although 13 of some 24 participants in the
ring were indicted, 11 for having sex with children, until now none
has been convicted. Some of the accused have said in their defense
that the children were willing sellers of sex.

8. Federal prosecutor Guilherme Schelb spoke on methods for
identifying child victims of physical and sexual abuse,
prostitution and trafficking and how to investigate such cases. He
noted that these crimes are taking place under the noses of
teachers, family members, social workers and police, who should
know better. He stressed that drug use and adult prostitution were
intimately linked to the problem of sexual exploitation of

Possible U.S. role

9. In her remarks, Charge Kubiske highlighted the successful
U.S.-Brazilian cooperation to eradicate human trafficking and
protect children and adolescents. She noted, however, that that
success has been partial and that there was scope for much greater
cooperation. She urged the seminar participants to consider
concrete measures that might now be taken to shut down the
traffickers and the businesses that support them, to better detect
international trafficking networks, to better care for victims,
offering them alternatives in life, and to prevent
re-victimization. She said: "This is not an American problem or a
Brazilian problem, but a worldwide problem that affects
individuals, families and communities on every continent. Those of
us who wish to solve this problem must therefore work across
international borders."

10. There was a consensus among seminar participants around
certain aspects of human trafficking in Goias:

-- There is a need to raise community awareness so that victims,
traffickers and sexual predators can be more readily identified.

-- Law enforcement needs better training to rescue victims and
arrest traffickers, buyers of child sex and pimps.

-- There must be far greater certainty of punishment in order to
reduce the demand for trafficking in persons.

11. Over lunch with de Sousa, Barros, Borges and Schelb, poloff
asked how coordination with the United States to stop trafficking
could be improved. They noted that there already was fruitful
collaboration with the Resident Legal Adviser (RLA) (Note: The
RLA program has since been shut for lack of USG funding. End
note.), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) representative,
officials of DHS/ICE and others. There has been discussion, for
example, about developing a joint anti-trafficking task force that
would focus on "visa turnarounds" who are sent back to Brazil from
the U.S. border because of suspicion that they are intending to
work as prostitutes. If such persons could be located quickly on
their return to Brazil and were willing to cooperate, they could
conceivably provide valuable information on human trafficking

rings. Our interlocutors suggested that U.S. Mission officials
attend future meetings in Goias of the Nucleus for Confronting
Trafficking in Persons.

12. Comment: The planned non-stop flights between Brasilia (which
has the nearest international airport to Goias) and Atlanta to be
operated by Delta Airlines, starting on December 18, while
obviously welcome in terms of facilitating legitimate tourism,
business and government travel, have also opened up new
possibilities for trafficking women and children to and through the
United States. The U.S. Mission therefore believes the time is
right to increase cooperation to address the serious trafficking
problem in the state of Goias.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.