24 April 2017 – GLO.ACT – The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants was launched on earlier this month at the UN house in Brasília. This Action is a four-year joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The project underlines the importance that combating human trafficking and migrant smuggling has for the EU and the United Nations as a whole.
As a coordinated response to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, GLO.ACT aims to strengthen the criminal justice response in 13 strategically selected countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. It will work with the countries in developing and implementing comprehensive national counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling responses, ensuring that a dual prevention and protection approach is adopted. While providing assistance to government authorities, GLO.ACT will also benefit civil society organizations as well as victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants directly.
In that regard, João Gomes Cravinho, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Brazil, said: “The world has changed, and cross-border cooperation in the fight against transnational crimes is more important than ever”. Mr. Gomes also referred to the bloc’s longstanding partnership with UNODC and how GLO.ACT will help consolidate previous work funded by the EU via institutions such as the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), which carried out activities in the country’s dry borders, or the EUROSOCIAL program, which supported IOM in Goiânia.
For his part, Antonino de Leo, UNODC Representative in Bolivia, underscored: “Virtually every country in the world is affected by these crimes. The challenge for all countries is to target criminals who exploit desperate people, and protect and assist victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants, many of whom endure unimaginable hardships in their bid for a better life. These people are on the move for different reasons – some are fleeing conflict and war, while others may be escaping serious human rights violations, crisis or poverty, and some simply searching for better opportunities out in the world”.
Representing Diego Beltrand, the Regional Director for South America and Head of Mission to IOM in Brazil, Project Coordinator Marcelo Torelly pointed to the activities planned by IOM, explaining how they relate to the organization’s provision of assistance and protection to vulnerable migrants. Mr. Torelly also noted that the objective of such activities is to strengthen existing capacities in the country and to produce a lasting legacy in the services of assistance and protection to vulnerable migrants. Among them, a Call for Proposals for Direct Assistance Services for Migrants in a Vulnerable Situation aims to identify and select an organization for the implementation of these services. The deadline for applications is 05.05.2017, and more details can be found at
Also present at the launch ceremony were the National Secretary of Justice and Citizenship, Astério Pereira dos Santos, and UNODC officials in Brazil. Representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as from the Federal Police, the Public Prosecutor Office, the Public Defender’s Office and State representatives from different regions of Brazil also attended.