Consolidating and Disseminating Efforts to Combat Forced Labor in Brazil and Peru
Vulnerable populations in rural and urban areas are victims of forced labor in Brazil and Peru. They endure abusive working conditions, debt bondage, deception, intimidation and threats, and restriction of movement, among other unlawful labor practices. Some victims of forced labor have been rescued from forced-labor conditions within agricultural supply chains or manufacturing businesses with domestic and global reach. The Consolidating and Disseminating Efforts To Combat Forced Labor in Brazil and Peru project works with governmental institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations to strengthen their capacity to address forced labor at all levels. In Brazil, the project supports Mato Grosso state’s Integrated Action program to assist forced-labor victims, while in Peru, the project helps the Peruvian government implement forced-labor policies through exchange activities between Brazil and Peru.
IIn Brazil, an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 workers, including children, are victims of forced labor. For more than two decades, Brazil has developed a comprehensive approach to combating forced labor. This approach includes robust laws, policies, and a labor inspection system; financial assistance and social services to rescued workers; and multi-stakeholder initiatives. Despite these efforts, workers continue to be subjected to forced labor. In Peru, workers from indigenous communities and rural areas are vulnerable to forced labor in gold mining, logging, and domestic work. In recent years, the Government of Peru has implemented policies to address forced labor and strengthened its labor inspectorate. However, Peru has yet to allocate sufficient resources to implement the Second National Plan to Combat Forced Labor and provide social services to victims of forced labor.
TThe project supports efforts to address forced labor in Brazil and Peru. In Brazil, the project partners with the Government of Brazil and stakeholders to (1) increase evidence-based knowledge of forced labor; (2) raise awareness of forced labor and enhance coordination among stakeholders to implement forced–labor policies; (3) provide technical assistance to companies to address forced labor in their supply chains; and (4) support Integrated Action program, a state-of-the art program to assist persons vulnerable to forced labor in Mato Grosso state. In Peru, the project works with the Government of Peru to implement the Second National Plan and conducts an exchange program between Brazil and Peru on good practices on forced labor. In 2018, project activities will focus on (1) developing a tool to integrate data on forced labor cases; (2) supporting the development of a new National Plan to Address Forced Labor; and (3) helping Bahia state implement a program to assist victims of forced labor. The project will also conduct awareness-raising activities in Minas Gerais state and continue to carry out exchange activities between Brazil and Peru.
In both countries, the Brazil/Peru project will work with governmental institutions, private sector, and civil society organizations to strengthen their capacity to combat forced labor. In Brazil, the project will target 520 households vulnerable to forced labor for livelihood services.
- Incorporation of questions about forced labor in the Government of Brazil’s national household survey.
- Implementation of a forced labor survey in Maranhão state.
- Partnership with the Brazilian Labor Prosecutor’s Office to develop SmartLab, an online tool that identifies risks associated with forced labor.
- Participation in the creation of InPacto, an independent organization in Brazil that raises awareness about forced labor and promotes due diligence processes in supply chains.
- Development of an online platform to help trade union organizations submit forced-labor complaints.
- Design of a tool to track participants of the Integrated Action program to assist victims of forced labor
- Helping more than 707 households vulnerable to forced labor in Mato Grosso state to enter the labor market with skills matching businesses’ needs and to start their own businesses.
- Penalization of forced labor included in the Penal Code.
- Publication of research on forced labor in gold mining and logging in Peru.
- Approval of Peru’s Interagency Protocol to Identify and Assist Victims of Forced Labor by the Government of Peru.
- Implementation of an exchange program between Brazil and Peru to develop and pilot tools to investigate forced-labor cases and conduct joint forced-labor inspections.
As of September 30, 2017, the Brazil/Peru project has provided livelihood services to 707 households vulnerable to forced labor.
Learn About Our Success
At the age of eighteen, Geraldo José da Silva was offered a job cutting cane in a mill in Mato Grosso. The man recruiting him told him he would receive a good salary with a formal contract, medical care and food. To a young man who grew up tilling the soil to help his family survive, it was an attractive offer. But it was a lie.