The United Nations (UN) launched the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) in Brazil on Wednesday (April 19). Thirteen countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, including Brazil, have joined the project to combat trafficking in persons whether for work or sex exploitation.
The UN estimates that there are more than 500 trafficking routes in the world. The Global Action aims to ensure the adoption of a dual approach of preventing trafficking in persons while protecting the victims.
Organized by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), GLO.ACT is a coordinated response to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants and aims to strengthen law enforcement in strategically selected countries—Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Laos, and Ukraine.
In addition to the assistance provided to government authorities, the initiative will also directly benefit civil society organizations and assist victims of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, through actions that range from public policymaking to legislative assistance, international cooperation, protection and assistance to victims and assistance to children, who along with women account for the largest group of trafficked persons globally.
Astério dos Santos, Brazil's National Secretary for Justice and Citizenship of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, said while there is no accurate statistics on trafficking in persons, the country is aware of the problem, especially in the context of the large number of Venezuelans migrating to northern Brazil.
“Because of our vast territory, many people are migrating, and even returning, and there are no controls,” he said.
*With additional radio reporting by Graziele Bezerra for Radiojornalismo EBC.
Translated by Mayra Borges