GLO.ACT supports Project Dragon of the Sea

Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil - 17 December 2018 - The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (  GLO.ACT ) supported the Labour Inspection Bureau for the Eradication of Slave Labour (DETRAE) and its Project Dragon of the Sea. GLO.ACT Brazil and GLO.ACT Colombia supported a training on the identification, investigation and intervention in cases analogous to slavery and trafficking in persons in Praia do Forte, between 3-7 December 2018, for approximately 40 participants. Participants included labour inspectors of the mobile unit and labour prosecutors from Brazil and Colombia. The name of the project pays tribute to Francisco José do Nascimento, also known as the Dragon of the Sea, a Brazilian abolitionist of the 19 th century. His name is a symbol of popular resistance against covered a range of topics such as: the approach and questioning of victims, the new laws against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and migration; the rights and responsibilities of migrants (permanent residence for rescued immigrants), appropriate referrals to institutions that provide document regularization services, assistance, and reception of immigrants, and inclusion in the labour market.

In terms of context, Brazil has a high prevalence of forced labour; however, the number of prosecutions and convictions remains low. In Brazil, forced labour has been defined as a form of modern-day slavery. This includes debt bondage, degrading working conditions, and long working hours that pose a risk to the worker´s health or life, and violate his/her dignity. Human rights groups estimate that thousands of people work in slave-like conditions on farms, sugar cane plantations, and cattle ranches across Brazil´s remote and jungle locations, as well as urban factories and construction sites. In urban areas, many of the victims of forced labour are irregular migrants working in sweatshops. In addition, irregular migrants often distrust or even resist the protective intervention of public agents. It is not uncommon for these workers to declare their intention to remain in the same situation. Many are unaware of the Brazilian legislation and combined with the social and economic vulnerability in which they find themselves, they are exposed to re-victimization. In this scenario, the Labour Inspection Bureau for the Eradication of Slave Labour (DETRAE) works to ensure the fundamental rights and guarantees in labour relations, the development of working relationships and environments, in view of the decent work mandates by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and applied by the Ministry of Labour. 

At the end of the workshop, participants were presented with a proposal for the development of a manual for migrants on Brazilian labour and TIP legislation. The idea being that this will include information on how to avoid becoming a victim of TIP and slave labour and it is to be made available in Portuguese, Spanish, English, Chinese and Creole. Working with labour inspector and prosecutors aims at strengthening the fight against TIP and re-victimization, and highlighting the links between TIP and work analogous to slavery. Ms. Fernanda Patricia Fuentes, GLO.ACT's National Project Officer for Brazil stated: "The work that DETRAE has been performing alongside the regional units of the Ministry of Labour, collaborates directly to consolidate the policy on addressing slave labour in Brazil, both in the development of this policy and in its execution. It is an honour for GLO.ACT Brazil to support DETRAE in its efforts to continue moving forward in new areas, such as migration and human trafficking, to share lessons learned with other countries and to continue to support the obligation of the government in defending labour rights in Brazil.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Fernanda Patricia Fuentes Munoz

National Project Officer

Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil


Twitter:    @glo_act 

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