Existence and activities of GAJOP; whether it is associated with a witness protection program operated by Amnesty International; whether GAJOP assists individuals in finding safe haven abroad (1996-January 2000) [BRA33573.E]

The Gabinete de Assessoria Jurídica às Organizações Populares (GAJOP) is a non-governmental human rights organization founded in 1981 in Pernambuco with a mandate to "contribute to the democratization of the Brazilian state and society" ("contribuir para a democratização do Estado e da Sociedade brasileira") (GAJOP n.d.a). According to the organization's Website, it employs a staff of ten, among whom are lawyers, psychologists and social workers (ibid.). The Website further indicates three program areas in which GAJOP is active:

Provita: Support and Protection for Witnesses and Victims of Violence

Through a network of governmental and non-governmental groups, we provide support and protection for witnesses and victims of violence and their relatives, on the condition that they agree to co-operate with the authorities in the investigation of serious crimes. This programme has become a national landmark as it is currently being expanded to seven Brazilian states: Bahia, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Santa Catarina.

Education for Citizenship

In partnership with the Police, Universities and other organisations, Gajop organizes courses in Human Rights for civil and military police. Until the year 2001, 9000 policemen will pass the courses in the States of Pernambuco, Sergipe and Paraíba. The project, financed by the Ford Foundation, is an expansion of the courses Gajop gave in Pernambuco in 1996-97.

Monitoring of the Justice and Security Authorities

Gajop contributes to the democratization of justice and security policy through monitoring State actions and services. We give priority to the prison system, encouragement to the use of alternative penalties for minor crimes, and socio-educational measures for teenagers in trouble with the law. We carry out research and studies that offer possible solutions for shortfalls in the system (ibid. n.d.b).

In an 11 January 2000 interview, the Coordinator of PROVITA, GAJOP's witness protection program, stated that her organization's program is not associated with a witness protection program operated by Amnesty International. However, the Coordinator indicated that Amnesty International has publicized GAJOP's witness protection program as a model that could be adopted in other Latin American countries. The Coordinator further stated that although witness protection generally does not involve relocation beyond state boundaries, international relocation would be given consideration in "exceptional cases."

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Gabinete de Assessoria Jurídica às Organizações Populares (GAJOP), Recife. 11 January 2000. Telephone interview with the Coordinator of the Programa de Apoio e Proteção a Testemunhas, Vítimas e Familiares de Vítimas da Violência (PROVITA).

GAJOP. n.d.a. " O Gabinete de Assessoria Jurídica às Organizações Populares (Gajop) é uma Organização..." http://www.gajop.com.br/apresent.htm [Accessed 11 Jan. 2000]

_____. n.d.b. "The work of Gajop is carried out through the following programmes..." http://www.gajop.com.br/ingles3.htm [Accessed 7 Jan. 2000]