Aug. 5, 2018

The Semana Coração Azul (Week of the Blue Heart) calls upon Amazon society to reflect on Trafficking in Persons

The Teatro Amazonas has served as a landmark to give visibility to the reality of human trafficking, and thus to close Semana Coração Azul (the Blue Heart Week) in the city of Manaus. A play made by the young people of the Projeto Oséias, as well as the approach to the people who passed around and who were very receptive, enabling a dialogue and information, were the activities developed by the present institutions.

July 30 is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, set up by the UN General Assembly to mark the date of approval of the global plan to combat trafficking in persons. For this reason, in the week around this date the Campanha Coração Azul is celebrated with the purpose of raising awareness to awaken society towards the victims and encouraging them to participate in the fight against trafficking in persons.

The Campaign, which takes place in several countries of the world, was taken in charge in Brazil by the Ministry of Justice in the year 2013. Each year an increasing number of institutions, groups and states carry on this campaign to increase the visibility of trafficking in persons. In Amazonas, one of the states where trafficking in persons is highest in Brazil, the campaign was coordinated by the Secretariat of Citizenship and Human Rights of Amazonas - SEJUC, in partnership with the State Secretariat for Education - SEDUC, the Municipal Secretary of Education - SEMED, the Hosea Project and the Network A Scream for Life.

According to Roselei Bertoldo, from the network Un Grito por la Vida de Manaus, "during this week several activities took place, such as a course aimed at sensitization and prevention in cooperation with five schools, a course in a shelter home where the indigenous Warau and the Venezuelan migrants live, where we managed to raise awareness, inform and alert people about this crime, especially trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, slave labour and irregular adoption, as well as the disappearance of children, which is high in the city of Manaus. "

Along with this, Roselei Bertoldo, recognizes the importance of the campaign as an instrument to "alert not only those people with whom we had direct contact, but also the society in general, to be attentive, informed and above all to try denounce cases of trafficking in our region. She pointed out that "this is a commitment, we join with the public power in the certainty that it is important for everyone to do their part". In this sense, the representative of the the network Un Grito por la Vida, highlighted that at the end of the campaign "we received two situations of sexual exploitation, for which we provided assistance and care."

The importance of working together among the different Churches and civil society is according to Valmi Bohn, who is part of the National Network Coordination of Un Grito por la Vida, in the fact that "today the trafficking of people is a huge social problem that I think has no solution, but what we can do to prevent it is important, and we alone cannot do anything. The Church, the institutions and the civil society need to join forces to reach as many people as possible in the prevention path, especially the young people and the children who are the major victims within the great social vulnerabilities we live today. "

In reference to society's awareness, Valmi Bohn points out that "it seems to me that there is still a long way to go for people and society to be aware of the great danger that children, grandchildren run in the face of the great invisibility of the trafficking, which is a social evil that is there, a heinous crime and that it needs to be more and more on the agenda of the civil society for them to become aware, especially parents and mothers, for them to realize that their children, in a way or the other, are in great danger, and they must have this knowledge of prevention in order to be able to see elements and aspects that may help them to guard against this crime."