Meninadança at the Embassy
For those of you who signed our Delegates' Declaration at one of our November events, or who sent a letter to the Brazilian ambassador about the rape of a girl in Cândido Sales, we want to encourage you with this update.
On Friday a delegation from Meninadança met with the vice-ambassador João Marcus Paes Leme, who is responsible for the area of human rights, at the Brazilian embassy in London.
Brazilian TV journalist and Meninadança ambassador Sergio Utsch also took part in the meeting, along with Meninadança's Joseph Campos, Charlotte Piek and Matt Roper.
During our 50-minute meeting Mr Leme listened intently as we told him about the plight of girls on Brazil's BR-116 motorway, and suggested ways the embassy could help raise the issue at the highest level, and push for justice for girls on individual cases.
What gave crucial weight to what we had to say, though, were your signatures and your letters.
During our conferences and events in November more than 400 people signed our Delegates' Declaration, calling on the Brazilian government to do more to tackle the child sexual exploitation epidemic on the BR-116. And hundreds of you have written letters to the Brazilian ambassador, demanding that the rapist of a girl in Cândido Sales be brought to justice.
Mr Leme explained that the letters have been sent to Brazil, and on to the foreign office's department in the state of Bahia, which has informed the state's public security department, responsible for the police. He added that the fact these letters came via the London embassy makes them much more significant and hard for the authorities to ignore.
This week, our Brazilian director Warlei will be in Cândido Sales where he will seek a further meeting with the police chief in the light of these developments.
Mr Leme also received the Delegates' Declaration with your signatures, and promised that it would be sent to Brazil's minister for human rights, family and women, Damares Alves. We hope that this will lead to further positive repercussions in Brazil.
For years the plight of girls on the BR-116 went hidden and untold - but now, thanks to you, their voices are starting to be heard by those in the highest level of Brazil's government. Thank you for helping us speak up for them.