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Interview - Human Trafficking in Brazil: Between crime-based and human rights-based governance

  • Ela Wiecko V. de Castilho ๊University of Brasilia


This interview with Ela Wiecko V. de Castilho, Vice-Prosecutor General of the Republic in Brazil, looks at the development of anti-trafficking law and agendas since Brazil’s ratification of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (Trafficking Protocol). Castilho looks at how the externally-imposed concept of anti-trafficking gained momentum in the country and details debates and tensions in the subsequent development of national policy. Brazilian criminal law has significant conceptual differences with the Trafficking Protocol, particularly around consent and internal trafficking. Castilho discusses unresolved issues on rights of sex workers and migrants and points to a data collection methodology that was recently established and will allow for analysis of whether victims’ situations meet the international definition of human trafficking. If they do not, she suggests that this definition may not need to be maintained in Brazil.

Author Biography

Ela Wiecko V. de Castilho, ๊University of Brasilia

Ela Wiecko V. de Castilho has a PhD in Law from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil (1996). She is Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Brasilia, where she leads the Candango Criminology Group and Moitará-Research Group on Ethnic Rights. Her teaching and research fall within research programmes ‘Systems of Justice, Human Rights and Legal Education’ and ‘Law Found in the Street’. She has published and worked on issues of violence against women, alternatives to prison, rights of indigenous peoples, drug policy and human trafficking. She is also a member of the Federal Prosecution Service, where she has served as Federal Attorney for Citizens' Rights, Coordinator of 6th Board for Coordination (Indigenous peoples and minorities), Inspector General, and Ombudsman General of the Federal Prosecutor. Currently she is the Vice-Prosecutor General of the Republic.

How to Cite
V. DE CASTILHO, Ela Wiecko. Interview - Human Trafficking in Brazil: Between crime-based and human rights-based governance. Anti-Trafficking Review, [S.l.], n. 4, apr. 2015. ISSN 2287-0113. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 jan. 2018. doi:


Brazil, anti-trafficking, sex worker rights, Trafficking Protocol, human trafficking