Slavery in Brazil

This video is called Combatting Slavery In Brazil by Centro de Direitos Humanos.

From British daily The Guardian:

Brazilian taskforce frees more than 4,500 slaves after record number of raids on remote farms

* Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
* Saturday 3 January 2009

Brazilian authorities rescued more than 4,500 slaves from captivity last year, carrying out a record number of raids on remote ranches and plantations, according to figures released this week by the country’s work ministry.

The government said its anti-slavery taskforce, a roaming unit designed to crack down on modern-day slavery, had freed 4,634 workers from slave-like conditions in 2008. The taskforce, which often works with armed members of the federal police, said it had undertaken 133 missions and visited 255 different farms in 2008. The ministry said former slaves had been paid £2.4m in compensation.

Brazil officially abolished slavery in 1888 but activists believe thousands of impoverished Brazilians are still being lured into debt slavery.

Leonardo Sakamoto, head of a Sao Paulo-based NGO, said slavery remained a big problem despite growing attempts to eradicate it during the government of leftwing president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva.

“It is a very sad situation that leaves you feeling impotent. The federal government has acted – but having slave labour in a country where the wealth is so evident is a very painful contradiction,” said Sakamoto, who is a member of Brazil’s National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labour and runs the NGO Repórter Brasil.

Many of Brazil’s slave workers come from the impoverished backlands of north-eastern Brazil, where unemployment is high. Rounded up by middlemen who promise them employment, the workers are packed on to coaches and taken to remote farms, often in the Amazon or Brazil’s midwest.

See also this video.

11 thoughts on “Slavery in Brazil

  1. Employers accused over ‘slave’ labour

    BRAZIL: The Labour Ministry has released a list of 251 employers accused of keeping workers in “slave-like conditions.”

    It is a rise from 220 companies named last year as guilty of the offence.

    Slave-like labour includes cases where staff work “exhausting hours” or are forbidden to leave because of debts to the employer.


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