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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Brazil: Activists address sex trafficking in advance of Olympic Games

Spero News

A cocktail of sex slavery, violence, and human trafficking is expected for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

A seminar for Brazilian educators and activists, organized by the "A cry for life" network was held on August 6-7 in Teresina, the capital of Piaui state. The meeting, sponsored by the conference of Catholic religious orders in Brazil (CRB) and the Regional Teresina CRB, was attended by 40 people, including nuns and lay people, pastoral workers and leaders of institutions committed to addressing the scourge of human trafficking and sexual slaveyr.  The meeting was called by the de Sousa Nair Sisters (Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph), Roselea Berthold (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) and Denise Morra (Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).
On the seminar's first day, the reality of human trafficking in Brazil and in the world was described.  The second day was reserved for the presentation of the network "A cry for life" and the elaboration of a common action plan to be implemented this semester. Activists will work in their respective fields, putting special emphasis on leadership training, and prevention of human trafficking (especially children, adolescents and young adults).
 In Brazil, human trafficking is becoming a serious problem to the extent that the federal Senate has decided to address the issue well in advance of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and World Cup Soccer in 2014, which could be used by criminal organizations as a cover up to expand their activities. Even while Brazil is conducting armed mop-up operations by paramilitary police forces in Rio de Janeiro slums, for example, critics contend that criminal violence could still make a dent in the party scene expected for the upcoming sports events over the next three years.

Speroforum editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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