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Citizens for Justice and Peace

Hundreds of workers rescued at least twice from slavery in last 15 years in Brazil

09, Feb 2018 | CJP Team

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 35,000 workers in Brazil have been saved from slavery in the last 15 years. However, more than 600 of these workers found themselves in slavery-like conditions for at least one more time. 35,341 workers were rescued from slavery between 2003 and 2017, but 1.73% of these found themselves in slave labour for at least one more time. 22 of these were rescued three times, and 4 were rescued four times, the ILO said. Those who struggle to obtain public services, especially education, are more at risk of falling victim to exploitation and slave labour. Those with a low level of education are more likely to end up back in slave labour conditions, and the rate of illiterate workers is twice the rate for those who completed their primary education. Brazil’s Penal Code considers slavery to include debt bondage, forced labour, degrading conditions and exhausting work hours, the ILO said. Slave labour has come to attention recently, after the Supreme Court blocked a government order that seemingly diminished existing laws. In December 2017, Brazil’s government issued a more stringent directive that clearly considers slave labour as a violation of fundamental human rights and an infringement on a worker’s dignity. 

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