Brazil: 523 victims of slave labor rescued in 2023

The information was disclosed by the Ministry of Labor and Employment

Published on 11/03/2023 - 14:13 By Letycia Bond - Agência Brasil - São Paulo

Brazilian authorities this year have rescued 523 victims of slavery-like working conditions in the whole country. The information was disclosed this week to Agência Brasil by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.

In the state of São Paulo, the first case of the year, still under investigation, was registered on January 26. According to the Labor Prosecution Office (MPT), 32 workers from the sugar cane production chain were found in this condition.

The workers' accommodations were in "terrible conditions of hygiene and comfort," as detailed by MPT. "There were old mattresses, torn linings, old stoves and refrigerators, bathrooms in precarious conditions of hygiene, and exposed electrical installations," the office reported.

What is slave labor?

The current Brazilian legislation classifies as slave labor any forced activity—when the person is prevented from leaving his or her place of work—performed under degrading conditions or exhausting working hours. Also subject to complaint is any case in which the employee is constantly and ostentatiously watched by his or her employer.

A report written by the International Labor Organization (ILO), Walk Free, and the International Organization for Migration, released in September 2022, points out that around 28 million people worldwide were victims of forced labor in 2021. Most cases (86%) occur in the private sector, and almost one in eight people who were subjected to this type of violation is a child (3.3 million).

 The Labor Prosecution Office has a channel available on its website for registering complaints of crimes that violate workers' rights. The notification can be made anonymously.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Juliana Andrade

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