In 2013, 254 people fell victim to human trafficking in Brazil. The figures, released Thursday (Jul 30) by the Ministry of Justice, were gathered chiefly from the records of civil police stations across the country, and can be found in the National Report on the Trafficking in Persons. São Paulo ranks first in the number of victims: 184, followed by Minas Gerais, with 29.
The statistics reveal that nine types of trafficking in persons and related crimes were detected in 2013. Reports arose of sons, daughters or foster children who were given away, children or teenagers who were forced into prostitution or sexual exploitation, and people who had organs, tissue, or body parts removed.
Trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is the most common crime, accounting for 134 of a total 254 cases, next to slave labor, with 111 of the amount.
Also included in the report is information from several institutions, but, the document says, the data are limited, as identifying the crime can be a complex process, with difficulties stemming the very definition of the problem, as well as the wide range of factors discouraging victims from filing a report.
The document mentions “victims' lack of knowledge about the condition and misconceptions among both common citizens and the public agents in charge, who are not familiar with the characteristics of the phenomenon and often fail to take the appropriate measures for preventing and controlling human trafficking cases.”
Data from the Consular Assistance Division at the Ministry of Foreign Relations show that 62 Brazilian victims overseas were reported in 2013. Of these, 41 (66 percent) were trafficked for sexual exploitation, and 21 (34 percent) for slave labor.
Figures from the presidency's Human Rights Secretariat reveal an increase in the number of reports from 2011 to 2013. Victims in 2013 totaled 309, nearly ten times as many as the amount observed in 2011 (32), and close to twice the number for the year before (170).
Statistics from the Ministry of Labor and Employment reveal, in turn, that the amount of people rescued from slavery-like working conditions has decreased since 2007.
Furthermore, the Health Ministry declares that, in most cases tackled by public agencies, victims were female and aged up to 29. As for the perpetrators, the database from the ministry indicates that, according to the victims, in nearly 80% of cases they are men.
According to the report, the Federal Police launched 343 inquiries in 2013. As per data from the Public Prosecution Office 30 reports were registered in 2013, along with 24 criminal cases filed for trafficking in persons, both in and out of the country's territory, for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira