UN reporter will recommend extensive reform of Brazilian police forces

14/11/2003 - 21h26

Rio, November 11, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - An extensive reform of police forces, criation of special police divisions and courts to investigate crimes against children and adolescents, and greater participation by public defenders and prosecutors in the investigations. These are some of the recommendations for Brazil that the special reporter from the UN Human Rights Commission, Juan Miguel Petit, will present in his report, at the 60th session of the Commission, in March.

According to Petit, over 240 national and international trafficking routes exist in Brazil for the purpose of sexual exploitation. He said that the activities of organized crime rings with connections to narcotraffic and the government, together with the presence of recruiters in some peripheral neighborhoods, make it difficult to combat this type of crime. The reporters was surprised by the lack of organization in some Brazilian shanty-towns, which he classified as "veritable black holes," lacking minimal social assistance. "In São Paulo, for example, there are places where there are no schools, not even a playing field. People survive there and are only concerned about making it through the day."

In the reporter's view, sexual exploitation is the result of poverty, marginalization, and social exclusion. "The challenge is to develop social policies that get at the roots of violence."

The special reporter for the Trafficking of Children, Prostitution, and Child Pornography visited Brazil at the invitation of the government. He spent two weeks in Rio, Brasília, Belém, Salvador, and São Paulo and held 60 meetings with non-governmental organizations and official government agencies. (DAS)