Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Brazil Backtracks on Anti-Slavery Policies

  • Published on
    October 17, 2017
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Anti-Slavery Activists, Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Prevention, Supply Chain, Worker Empowerment
Hero Banner

The government of Brazil is being criticized after the Ministry of Labor abruptly redefined what it considers to be “slave-like work” — a move many believe will make it more difficult to protect workers from slavery. The Guardian reports:

“Campaigners, commentators and prosecutors said the move was a social regression aimed at buying the support of a powerful agribusiness lobby ahead of a crucial vote in congress that could cost President Michel Temer his mandate. A government directive by the ministry of labor published on Monday redefined what the government defines as “slave-like work” – even though Brazil’s efforts to stop abusive labor conditions were praised as recently as last year by the United Nations.”

Since 2003, the ministry had published a “dirty list” of employers who abused their workers in slave-like conditions. Specifically this included indicators of “being forced to work; being obliged to work to pay off debts; degrading conditions that put workers’ health or dignity at risk; an excessive workload that threatened workers’ health.”

With this change in policy, the dirty list will be published at the discretion of the minister. Furthermore, the last two indicators of slavery only apply if workers are also “forcibly kept in place” and are proven through evidence of a police report.

Mauricio Brito, vice-coordinator for the eradication of slave labor for public prosecutors in Brasilia, said, “For us it will be a real regression in the battle against slave labor. It will make the definition harder and make inclusion on the dirty list harder. It will be good for those who use slave labor. We think that the government is doing this because of big pressure of the agribusiness caucus in the national congress.”



Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fernando Buoso
Fernando Buoso
6 years ago

The Brazilian Congress is a bankrupt Institution which no longer represents the will of the decent and honest people.

This week

Rounded up and abandoned: Europe’s covert support of migrant atrocities

It is well documented that inhumane immigration policies are forcing migrants to take extremely risky routes on their journey to seek asylum in Europe and globally. However, a year-long investigation by the Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports, and a consortium of international media outlets uncovered that migrant lives are not just at risk due to sketchy channel crossings and being packed in the back of refrigerator trucks. To dissuade sub-Saharan

| Wednesday May 22, 2024

Read more