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President of the Supreme Court and U.S. Secretary signed agreement on combating human trafficking

Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

On Wednesday (11), President of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) and of the National Council of Judicature (CNJ), Chief Justice Ayres Britto, received the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security of the United States, Janet Napolitano. During the meeting, held in the office of the Court presidency, both signed a joint cooperation agreement on combating human trafficking.

"We, the Supreme Court and the National Council of Judicature, received with great honor and pleasure the purpose of initiating efficient bilateral relations in the area of combating human trafficking, especially envisioning protection of children, adolescents, youth and women" , said Justice Ayres Britto.

He noted that the Brazilian Federal Constitution reserves to the Executive the official representation of Brazil in international relations, "however, the president of the Supreme Court acts while under its jurisdiction, especially to process extradition requests of human traffickers”.

"In terms of the National Council of Judicature, the justice said it was up to the council working closely with federal and state governments for the creation of specialized courts in combating trafficking, in addition to the promotion of meetings and seminars, "facilitating the dissemination of laws and constitutional principles entitling Brazilian children, adolescents and young people the right to a superlative form of protection, considered an absolute priority by the Constitution, especially against violence, abuse and exploitation of a sexual nature. "

According to the President of the Supreme Court, the work against human trafficking states the highest value of human dignity, "the prevalence of which is expressly mentioned in our Constitution, in section II of Article 4, followed by the obligation for Brazil to cooperate for the progress of humanity - item IX, Article 4 of the same”. Thus, the Chief Justice pointed out that in Brazil there is a constitutional duty to combat human trafficking “and do it with full awareness that such international cooperation is absolutely necessary”.


Secretary Janet Napolitano said the United States and Brazil have a strong commitment to work together. "The statement that Justice Ayres Britto and I signed today will further strengthen the cooperation with special focus on sexual exploitation of women, children and adolescents," she said, adding that the work between the U.S. and Brazil “is an excellent example of how nations can work together and achieve real progress”.
According to her, human trafficking exists in all parts of the world, including the U.S. and Brazil. Every year, Janet Napolitano continues, thousands of people, children and women are the target of trafficking for sexual exploitation or labor exploitation. The victims are usually young children, adolescents, women, new immigrants and people from all over the world.

"Many victims are lured with false promises and then, are obliged to work as maids, work on farms and all kinds of forced labor," she says, noting that the United Nations (UN) estimates that human trafficking has become the second most lucrative activity in terms of criminal activity after drug trafficking.

For the U.S. Secretary it is necessary to encourage people report suspected cases. She said the U.S. is working with religious organizations, professionals in health and transport. "We have instituted measures such as, for example, immigration benefits, to protect people who have become victims”, she said, reporting that the police officers are not the only group given orientation but also lawyers and prosecutors. “Everyone has a role in combating human trafficking. I'm glad that we are becoming closer to Brazil”, she said. "This type of information exchange of best practices and training can only advance our joint cooperation to stop human trafficking", said Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Constitution in English

At the end of the meeting, Justice Ayres Britto presented the U.S. Secretary with a copy of the Brazilian Constitution in English and received from her a statue coming of the southwestern United States, her birth place.

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