A survey carried out by the Brazilian Labor Prosecution Office (MPT) shows that at least 1,671 workers were rescued from slave-like labor in 2021. This were made possible through joint operations with the participation of MPT. The total number of rescues in 2021 may be even higher, if statistical data to be disclosed by other public offices are considered. 

In just one of the operations, carried out in October 2021, 116 people were rescued by the national mobile group. They worked in the harvesting of straw for cigarettes at Souza Paiol company, on a farm in Água Fria de Goiás, in the state of Goiás, 140 kilometers from Brasília.

During the operations, different sectors of the economy have been inspected, such as the extraction of carnauba palm, coffee and sugar cane plantations, mining, charcoal and quarries, civil construction and sewing workshops. Labor Tax Audit, linked to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Federal Prosecutors, Federal Public Defender’s Office, Federal Police, and Military Highway Police have joined the operations of the national mobile group.

Urban areas

One of the most common types of slave-like labor identified by MPT in urban areas is linked to domestic labor, with black women as the main victims. A study carried out by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) in 2019 shows that more than 6 million Brazilians are engaged in domestic services. Of this total, 92% are women – mostly black, with low education and from low-income families.

According to MPT’s assessment, the increase in the number of criminal complaints of slave-like labor in the sector is due to the empowerment of domestic workers over the last decade, among other factors.

Training projects

MPT also announced an agreement signed this week with municipalities to promote courses for the assistance network for victims of slave-like labor. The project is aimed at professionals from the municipal social assistance network and other professionals working in health, human rights and public safety sectors, who assist victims of slave-like labor and human trafficking.

Source: Agência Brasil