Project to Increase Worker Voice and Address Forced Labor, Child Labor, and Other Labor Violations in Cattle Raising Areas of Brazil and Paraguay
The Project to Increase Worker Voice and Address Forced Labor, Child Labor, and Other Labor Violations in Cattle Raising Areas of Brazil and Paraguay will help to increase collective action by workers organizations (WOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to address forced labor, child labor, and other labor violations in cattle raising areas of Brazil and Paraguay, specifically in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul and in the Paraguayan Department of Boquerón in the Chaco region.
Employers in Brazil and Paraguay’s expansive cattle raising sectors have been found to employ coercive recruitment and employment practices, primarily targeting rural, indigenous, and other vulnerable populations with the promise of better livelihoods. Cattle operations in both countries are expanding to meet global demand, further increasing the threat of forced labor. ILO reporting highlights the prevalence of forced labor in Brazil’s cattle sector. Similarly, in the Chaco region of Paraguay, an ILO study found coercive recruitment and significant indicators of forced labor in the country’s cattle raising supply chain. Small and medium cattle production businesses, which supply cattle to larger, international slaughter operations, use advanced payments to workers to trap them in situations of debt bondage to. Workers are often coerced, threatened, and deprived of their freedom by employers, who take actions such as retaining workers’ identification documents. The geographic isolation of cattle ranches and workers’ dependance on employers for food and housing further contribute to conditions that abet forced labor.
The project objective is to increase collective action by WOs and CSOs to prevent and eliminate forced labor, child labor, and other labor violations in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, and in the Department of Boquerón in the Paraguayan Chaco region.
The project will strengthen the capacity of WOs and CSOs to help protect the labor rights of rural workers living as settlers, riverbank dwellers, members of indigenous communities, and members of peri-urban communities in the target areas.
In Brazil, the project will help strengthen the capacity of WOs and CSOs to identify and address forced labor and child labor. The project will also raise awareness of forced labor and child labor issues and support effective coordination among workers, their communities, WOs and CSOs.
In Paraguay, the project will support WOs and CSOs in developing trade union strategies to prevent forced labor, child labor, and other labor violations. The project will also work with institutions and government entities to increase understanding and improve application of international child labor and forced labor regulations. In addition, the project will promote involvement of the general population in support of action to prevent child labor and forced labor.
In both countries, the project will increase the ability of WOs and CSOs to communicate workers’ complaints to the relevant labor authorities and promote the prevalence of forced labor, child labor, and other labor violations in the agendas of public institutions and CSOs. Furthermore, the project will promote sustainability of these efforts by working with government authorities, WOs, CSOs, and the private sector to promote continued support and availability of required resources to ensure the continuation of key project activities with support from local actors.
To achieve these outcomes, the project will:
- strengthen the capacity of WOs and SCOs to identify labor violations and advocate on behalf of workers;
- provide services addressing labor violations for workers and their families; and
- increase engagement with private sector stakeholders to advocate for better working conditions.
- International Labor Organization (ILO)
- Implementing Partners:
- Comissão Pastoral da Terra, National Confederation of Rural Salaried Workers (CONTAR), Repórter Brasil
- Contact Information:
- (202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
- Child Labor
- Capacity Building
- Civil Society Organizations
- Forced Labor
- Labor Rights
- Private Sector
- Projects Grievance
- Worker Voice
- Workers Organizations