Brazil

Antonio Jose da Santos Filhio escaped slavery and helped organize Nova Conquista to help others do the same. Photo by Robyn Fieser/CRS

Antonio Jose da Santos Filhio escaped slavery and helped organize Nova Conquista to help others do the same. Photo by Robyn Fieser/CRS

Brazil is a land of extreme and often cruel contrasts, with a highly unequal distribution of wealth.

About 16 million Brazilians live in extreme poverty, and the lack of economic opportunities gives rise to a scandalous violation of human rights: slave labor. The International Labor Organization estimates that 40,000 people work in virtual slavery, especially in Amazonia. Most victims are illiterate men attracted by promises of a better life. They are taken to remote plantations and charcoal kilns, where they work as debt laborers with little possibility of returning home.

Catholic Relief Services works closely with the Catholic Church, the Pastoral Land Commission and Repórter Brasil to combat slave labor and promote a culture of justice through advocacy on public policy.

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Stats

Population:202,656,788 (July 2014 est.)
Size:3,287,612 sq. mi.; slightly smaller than the United States of America
People Served:127,769

History

In 2009, Catholic Relief Services Brazil decided to change its traditional multiple project developmental model to a more simplified and focused strategy, namely to work with local churches and partners on the national and international issues of forced labor (economic slavery) and trafficking.

Partners

Repórter Brasil
Pastoral Land Commission [Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT)]
National Conference of Bishops of Brazil

Programs

Civil Society and Governance
Other


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