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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                                   

Federative Republic of Brazil

Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets.

Since the onset of the global financial crisis in September, Brazil's currency and its stock market - Bovespa - have significantly lost value, -41% for Bovespa for the year ending 30 December 2008. Brazil incurred another current account deficit in 2008, as world demand and prices for commodities dropped in the second-half of the year.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Brazil

Brazil is a source country for men, women, girls, and boys trafficked within the country and transnationally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, as well as a source country for men and boys trafficked internally for forced labor. The Brazilian Federal Police estimate that 250,000 to 400,000 children are exploited in domestic prostitution, in resort and tourist areas, along highways, and in Amazonian mining brothels.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Brazil.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include possible precursors of trafficking such as poverty. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims


Ministry of Justice
2025 3587
Country code: 55-



Mother courage

New Internationalist 337 August 2001  -- Interview conducted by Mario Osava/ Inter Press Service News Agency IPS

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Loyola lives in the town of Bacabal in Maranhao, one of the poorest states in Brazil – a country where 0.03 per cent of the population holds most of the land. Slavery plays an important role in the plunder of Brazil’s resources by the rich. In the shantytowns that ring the country’s enormous cities, agents scout for workers, promising attractive jobs to down-at-heel young men. Transported to remote areas, the men are placed under armed guard and told they must pay off the costs of their journey and food with their labour. Their ‘debt’ is constantly inflated and impossible to repay. The agents themselves are small-fry; go-betweens who bridge the gap between slaves and rich landowners.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Brazil eases residency visa requirements for trafficking victims

Fabio Teixeira, RIO DE JANEIRO, Reuters, 24 March 2020

[accessed 25 March 2020]

Human trafficking survivors will have an easier time gaining residence in Brazil after they are rescued, according to an ordinance issued by the government on Tuesday.

Under the new measure, a visa applicant must be recognized as a victim by government authorities. Then migration authorities have a final say, taking into account if the victims cooperate with efforts to catch their abusers.

When granted, the visa authorizes migrants to work legally in Brazil.

In Brazil, trafficking victims from Bolivia, Paraguay, Haiti and China have been found in forced labor and debt-bondage, particularly in the construction and textile industries, according to the U.S. 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Brazil

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 13 May 2021]


Forced labor, including forced child labor, was reported in jobs such as clearing forests to provide cattle pastureland, logging, producing charcoal, raising livestock, and other agricultural activities. Forced labor often involved young men drawn from the less-developed northeastern states–Maranhao, Piaui, Tocantins, and Ceara–and the central state of Goias to work in the northern and central-western regions of the country. In addition there were reports of forced labor in the construction industry. News outlets reported cases that amounted to forced labor in production of carnauba wax. Cases of forced labor were also reported in the garment industry in the city of Sao Paulo; the victims were often from neighboring countries, particularly Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay, while others came from Haiti, South Korea, and China.


The Ministry of Economy’s Special Mobile Inspection Group is responsible for inspecting worksites to enforce child labor laws. Penalties were insufficient to deter violations. Most inspections of children in the workplace were driven by complaints brought by workers, teachers, unions, NGOs, and media. Due to legal restrictions, labor inspectors remained unable to enter private homes and farms, where much of the child labor allegedly occurred. The government did not always effectively enforce the law. In the view of expert NGOs working in this field, penalties for slave labor were not commensurate with those for other analogous serious crimes, such as kidnapping. Between March and May, when most states were under mandatory social distancing measures, labor inspectors uncovered 63 cases of child labor, compared with 176 during the same period in 2019.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 19 March 2020]


Slavery-like working conditions pose a significant problem in rural and, increasingly, in urban zones. A 2012 constitutional amendment allows the government to confiscate all property of landholders found to be using slave labor, a measure criticized by Bolsonaro.

The government has sought to address the problem of child labor by cooperating with various NGOs, increasing inspections, and offering cash incentives to keep children in school and legislation enacted in 2014 classifies the sexual exploitation of minors as “a heinous crime.”

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 15 April 2019]

[accessed 24 April 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 197]

Children in Brazil engage in the worst forms of child labor in commercial sexual exploitation. (1; 2; 3) Children also engage in child labor in the production of coffee. (4; 5) Although the government has not yet published an analysis of the results from the 2016 National Household Survey (PNAD), the survey found 998,000 children ages 5–17 in child labor, including 190,000 children ages 5–13 and 808,000 children ages 14–17. (6) The survey also found that 20 million children are engaged in domestic work, which includes children engaged in household chores as well as child labor. (7) The North and Northeast regions had the highest number of child laborers, and 48 percent of these child laborers ages 5–13 work in agriculture.

While the overall scope and magnitude of the commercial sexual exploitation of children is unknown, the government acknowledges that it occurs throughout Brazil, with higher rates reported in the North and Northeast regions. (47; 42) Child sex tourism is particularly common in tourist and coastal areas. In addition, girls from other South American countries are exploited in commercial sex in Brazil. (42).

Organ trafficking: a fast-expanding black market

IHS Jane's, 05 March 2008

[accessed 26 June 2013]

China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines, Moldova, and Romania are among the world's leading providers of trafficked organs. If China is known for harvesting and selling organs from executed prisoners, the other countries have been dealing essentially with living donors, becoming stakeholders in the fast-growing human trafficking web.

Welcome to Brazil, a Paradise of Impunity for All Kinds of Criminals

Augusto Zimmermann, L.L.B., L.L.M., Ph.D. teaches constitutional law at Murdoch University, Western Australia.

This paper was presented at the Criminal Law Workshop held by the John Fleming Centre for Advancement of Legal Research at the Australian National University College of Law, 7-9 February 2008

[accessed 21 July 2013]

[accessed 28 May 2017]

VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN - A 2002 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) reveals that more than 3,000 girls from the sparsely populated state of Rondônia are subject to conditions of slavery and prostitution.

Working children are left vulnerable to all sorts of accidents in the workplace. There are many reports of children illegally working in areas such as the charcoal, sugarcane, and footwear industries. They have reportedly suffered accidents and illness, including "dismemberment, gastrointestinal disease, lacerations, blindness, and burns caused by applying pesticides with inadequate protection."

PORTUGAL-BRAZIL: Human Trafficking and Marriages - Another Link

Mario de Queiroz, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Lisbon, Oct 11 , 2006

[accessed 24 January 2011]

[accessed 5 September 2016]

Brazil’s influence in Portugal is not limited to music, television programming, football, cuisine and tropical beach vacations.

Today it is also the main source of victims of human trafficking to Portugal, women who fall into prostitution and sexual exploitation networks, as well as a source of large numbers of women who marry Portuguese men.  Brazil is the favourite country for traffickers who form part of the prostitution networks that have mushroomed in Portugal, which is a springboard to wealthier European Union destinations, according to studies presented at a seminar organised Monday and Tuesday by the governmental Portuguese Youth Institute (IPJ).

Brazil to launch campaign against human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, June 29, 2006

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Brazilians are the major victims of international human trafficking, according to the United Nations. Most victims are women aged between 18 and 30 with a low educational background. These women want to leave for Europe and believe they will have a better job and life there but end up being sexually exploited.

Forced Labor, Iraq War Take Center Stage at World Social Forum

Agence France-Presse AFP, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 29, 2005

[accessed date unknown]

[accessed 28 May 2017]

The group praised Brazil's endeavor to eliminate the exploitation of workers, saying it was the only government successful in its efforts.  "The Brazilian model in fighting forced labor is exportable," said Luis Carlos Moro, of the Latin American Association of Labor Attorneys, which is part of the anti-forced labor network.  Brazilian ILO delegate Patricia Audi said Brazil, South America's largest nation, rescued in 2003 a record 5,100 people who were working in slave-liked conditions in the rural sector.

Brazil Tries to Stem Tide of Sex Slavery

Jen Ross, Women's eNews, June 19, 2005

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Brazil is on a mission to end its status as Latin America's largest supplier of sex slaves. In recent months the government has joined international sting operations, passed a new law and launched a media campaign.

There's a good reason for the widespread interest in human trafficking in Brazil. The country--where prostitution is legal, but international trafficking is not--is the largest supplier of female sex slaves in Latin America, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Spanish Police Arrest 14 in Crackdown on Immigrant Prostitution Ring

Associated Press AP, 2005-06-06

[accessed 24 January 2011]

The group recruited hundreds of women coming mainly from Brazil. Gang members arranged passports and air tickets to Spain, where the women were persuaded and forced to work illegally as prostitutes in clubs in the southern regions of Andalusia and Extremadura and then to hand over their earnings, a police statement said.

The Price of a Slave in Brazil

Bernardete Toneto, [originally in Portuguese in the newspaper Brasil de Fato], February 2004

[accessed 16 February 2015]

Brazil is responsible for 15 percent of women trafficked in South America, a great majority being from the North and the Northeast.  Most of them are young—between 12 and 18 years old—have little schooling, and are of African descent. Currently, the "market value" of a Brazilian woman is up to US$ 15,000.

Forced Child Prostitution in Brazil

Gilberto Dimenstein, Adapted from his book "Meninas da Noite", Translation: NACLA Report on the Americas, May/June, 1994

[accessed 24 January 2011]

[accessed 29 January 2019]

Twelve girls--among them, Ana Meire Lima da Silva, age 15, and Miriam Ferreira dos Santos, 14--make up part of the cargo. They were persuaded to go with promises of work in a restaurant or luncheonette.

The girls are attracted by the promise of licit employment, but then are sent to work in night clubs in these faraway, inaccessible places, and kept captive like prisoners. Even the more experienced girls, who are not new to prostitution, are tricked. By contrast with the more naive girls, they know that they are going to sell their bodies, but they have little idea of the regime of slavery that awaits them.

Everything rests upon the debt--a bottomless pit. From the moment the girl arrives at the club, she is told that she owes money: her plane or boat ticket, which can be as much as $100. She cannot leave until this debt is paid off. The debt grows with the purchase of clothes, perfumes, medicine and food furnished by the club owner at an arbitrary price.

Without the girls realizing it, the owner keeps track of their expenditures using as a base the value of a gram of gold. The debt snowballs, especially when the girls fall sick--a common occurrence in this region ravaged by malaria. During the time they cannot "work," the debt piles up. Money from clients does not pass through the girls' hands; it goes, instead, directly to the cashbox.

"Foreigners in Our Own Country": Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Amnesty International, Index Number: AMR 19/002/2005, Date Published: 28 March 2005

[accessed 24 February 2015]

1. INTRODUCTION - Amnesty International has documented and campaigned against human rights violations committed against indigenous peoples in Brazil, their leaders and those who defend them, for many years. In 2005, Indians(1) continue to be victims of attacks, killings and other forms of violence and discrimination, often committed with impunity.

4. IMPUNITY AND INSECURITY - Impunity for human rights violations in Brazil is pervasive and persistent. This is very often the case with regard to the killings of Brazilian Indians. An attack on indigenous peoples by settlers that caused particular national and international outrage was the Tikuna massacre, which took place in 1988. Shrouded in impunity for many years, there were hopes that justice had been served with the sentencing of the 14 men believed responsible in 2001. They were convicted on a charge of genocide, only the third such conviction in Brazilian legal history. However, a recent ruling overturned the sentence of and acquitted the man convicted of ordering the killings, and reduced the sentence of all others involved.

Japan Sex Industry Ensnares Latin Women

Associated Press AP, Lima, Peru, April 30, 2005;wap2

[accessed 18 February 2013]

At least 1,700 women from Latin America and the Caribbean are lured each year into sexual slavery in Japan's huge illicit sex industry, according to a new report.   A team of researchers hired by the Organization of American States found that most of the women come from Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru.

He said a typical trafficking scenario is that of Irene Oblitas, a Peruvian who told her story last year to her country's media. She said that in 1998 she boarded a plane with three Japanese businessmen who had promised her a job in a plastics factory.   When she arrived she was raped by all three men and sold to a Yakuza organized crime boss, who branded her across the chest with a 6-inch (15-centimeter) rose tattoo. He forced her to provide sexual services to up to 40 clients a day, she said.

Brazil slave inspectors shot dead

BBC News, 29 January, 2004

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Three Brazilian officials were shot dead while investigating allegations that farm workers were used as slave labour, the Labour Ministry has said.  A spokesman said the officials and their driver were ambushed in the state of Minais Gerais.  But he said it was not clear whether the murders had anything to do with the investigations.

SURPRISE RAIDS - Most are in isolated parts of the country, far from the capital, where powerful farmers hold sway.   Labour Ministry inspectors travel around Brazil making surprise raids, often based on tip-offs, to find out if farmers keep their workers in slavery-like conditions.   Any labourers found are set free.

Between 250,000 and 2 million children forced into prostitution in Brazil

LibertadLatina, Short quotes and Links

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Brazil is considered to have the worst child sex trafficking record after Thailand. According to the recently released Protection Project report, various official sources agree that from 250,000 to 500,000 child live as child prostitutes.  Other sources in Brazil put the number at up to 2,000,000 children.

Prostitution and Trafficking in the UK

Stephanie Weiland, for Rahab International, May 2005

[accessed 28 August 2014]

TRAFFICKING - 100 women were trafficked for prostitution from remote villages in Brazil to London over a 5-year period. The women were held under debt bondage. The trafficker made £5 million profit. (Superintendent Michael Hoskins "Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation: Assessment of the Current Threat Within Central London" Metroploitan Police Service, June 1996).

Essential Background: Overview of Human Rights Issues in Brazil

Human Rights Watch, January 1, 2004

[accessed 18 February 2013]

FORCED LABOR - The use of forced labor in Brazil's ranching and timber industries has long been an extremely disturbing problem. According to the Catholic Church's Pastoral Land Commission, at least 25,000 people were working under forced labor conditions in Brazil in 2002, often with the tolerance of local authorities.

New era of slavery exposed in Brazil's rainforest

Gabriella Gamini, Scotsman, February 22, 2004

[accessed 24 January 2011]

A skeletal Geraldo da Silva was found sleeping under plastic sheets in a jungle camp with no running water or toilets, the deep bloody cuts on his hands and feet evidence that he had spent months clearing thick jungle vegetation.  Armed vigilantes watched over him as he worked and had threatened to kill him if he tried to flee.

Silva was among 32 slaves found by Brazilian labour ministry inspectors during a recent raid on remote cattle ranch in the Amazon owned by a right-wing senator - a find which has brought to the attention of the wider world an appalling violation of human rights.  More than 2,000 slaves have been freed in raids over the past year, and there are now thought to be more than 25,000 people living in inhumane conditions and working for nothing on cattle ranches, coffee farms and sugar cane fields across Brazil.

Brazil Abolishes Slavery!

The African American Desk Reference, Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture, Copyright 1999 The Stonesong Press Inc. and The New York Public Library, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pub. -- ISBN 0-471-23924-0

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Most forced labor takes place on large estates called Fazendas. In its present-day version, slavery begins with labor contractors called Gatos, or cats. They lure uneducated workers, largely from the northeast, with the promise of decent wages. Once the laborers arrive, however, they find they have already run up un-payable debts to their employers for food, medicine, and lodging, even the use of tools. In many cases they work long hours in the hot sun in exchange for food or wages as low as 10 cents and hour. Armed guards patrol work areas to ensure nobody escapes until debts are paid.

Dozens of slaves freed in Brazil

BBC World Service, 21 May, 2004

[accessed 24 January 2011]

They said the sugar-cane cutters had been lured from the poor north-eastern region of Brazil with false promises and then made to work as bonded labour.  They had little to eat and some shacks where they lived had no ventilation.

A Victim's Story


At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 24 January 2011]

[scroll down to Brazil wood floor industry]

Jobless and hungry, the Rocha family followed the promise of the gato (recruiter) and traveled by truck to the Minas Gerais region hoping for a better life. After arriving at the batteria (work camp), the gato informed the Rochas - at gunpoint - that they would be charged for travel, tools, food, and shelter. The family suddenly found itself trapped in forced labor, working 18-hour days to pay off an ever-accruing debt. While at the batteria, Marta Rocha, eight years old, inhaled smoke on a regular basis. She began to cough blood and now can no longer work. The Rochas are underfed and their debt continues to amass with no end in sight. Marta's medical needs further increase the debt, and without her work, the debt climbs even higher. Hundreds of miles from their native village, the Rochas are isolated and enslaved in their own country.

'Slaves' found on Brazilian ranch

BBC News, 13 February, 2004

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Officials said they discovered 32 slave-workers on the ranch of right-wing Senator Joao Ribeiro in the northern state of Para.  They said the captives worked seven days a week without pay and had no running water or toilets.  Senator Ribeiro, of the Liberal Front Party, denies mistreatment.

Trapped: Modern-Day Slavery in the Brazilian Amazon

Binka Le Breton, Trapped: Modern-day slavery in the Brazilian Amazon, Latin America Bureau, 24 April 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

 “Despite the clammy heat, I feel a cold shiver down my back as I sense something of Albertino's pain and terror. Lured into the jungle by false promises, treated with casual brutality, he was worked to the limits of endurance, forcibly held prisoner, and discarded as one might stamp on a cockroach” - from Trapped: Modern-day slavery in the Brazilian Amazon, by Binka Le Breton

Brazil's Prized Exports Rely On Slaves and Scorched Land

Larry Rohter, New York Times, Xinguara, Brazil, March 25, 2002

[accessed 24 January 2011]

The recruiters gather at the bus station here in this grimy Amazon frontier town, waiting for the weary and the desperate to disembark. When they spot a target, they promise him a steady job, good pay, free housing and plenty of food. A quick handshake seals the deal.

But for thousands of peasants, that handshake ensures a slide into slavery. No sooner do they board the battered trucks that take them to work felling trees and tending cattle deep in the jungle than they find themselves mired in debt, under armed guard and unable to leave their new workplace.

''It was 12 years before I was finally able to escape and make my way back home,'' said Bernardo Gomes da Silva, 42. ''We were forced to start work at 6 in the morning and to continue sometimes until 11 at night, but I was never paid during that entire time because they always claimed that I owed them money.''

Child Labour Persists Around The World: More Than 13 Percent Of Children 10-14 Are Employed

International Labour Organisation (ILO) News, Geneva, 10 June 1996

[accessed 9 September 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

"Today's child worker will be tomorrow's uneducated and untrained adult, forever trapped in grinding poverty. No effort should be spared to break that vicious circle", says ILO Director-General Michel Hansenne.

Among the countries with a high percentage of their children from 10-14 years in the work force are: Mali, 54.5 percent; Burkina Faso, 51; Niger and Uganda, both 45; Kenya, 41.3; Senegal, 31.4; Bangladesh, 30.1; Nigeria, 25.8; Haiti, 25; Turkey, 24; Côte d'Ivoire, 20.5; Pakistan, 17.7; Brazil, 16.1; India, 14.4; China, 11.6; and Egypt, 11.2.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) - 2004

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1 October 2004

[accessed 24 January 2011]

[46] The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption of 1993. However, it regrets the lack of statistical data on domestic and inter-country adoption and it expresses its concern that the State party does not provide sufficient safeguards against trafficking and sale of children for the purpose of, inter alia, adoption.

[62] The Committee welcomes the decision of the State party’s President, to make the fight against child sexual exploitation a priority of his Government. However, the Committee is deeply concerned by the wide occurrence of sexual exploitation and related issues, as also noted in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography following his mission to Brazil in 2003 (E/CN.4/2004/9/Add.2).

The Protection Project - Brazil [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[last accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - Organized crime plays a significant role in trafficking in women into and out of Brazil. Trafficking gangs offer girls false promises of jobs at restaurants or as domestic servants.  It was reported in 2000 that as many as 75,000 women from Brazil had been smuggled into European countries by way of Portugal in a huge operation involving up to 100 organized crime gangs.  Police suspect that the yakuza, the Japanese mafia, was behind a prostitution ring trafficking Brazilian men and women to Japan for purposes of prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Overview by Human Rights Watch – Defending Human Rights Worldwide

[accessed 24 January 2011]


Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 24 April 2020]


Slavery-like working conditions pose a significant problem in rural—and increasingly urban—zones. A constitutional amendment in 2012 allows the government to confiscate all property of landholders found to be using slave labor. However, under President Temer, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in October 2017 announced it would not continue automatically making public its “dirty list” of employers who subject workers to abusive conditions. The ministry also altered its internal definition of “slave-like conditions” to a more limited set of conditions that focus on freedom of mobility.

The government has sought to address the problem of child labor by cooperating with various nongovernmental organizations, increasing inspections, and offering cash incentives to keep children in school. Legislation enacted in 2014 classifies the sexual exploitation of minors as “a heinous crime,” with penalties of four to ten years in prison without eligibility for bail or amnesty.

2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 17 March 2019]

[accessed 24 June 2019]


Forced labor, including forced child labor, occurred in many states in jobs such as clearing forests to provide cattle pastureland, logging, producing charcoal, raising livestock, and other agricultural activities. Forced labor often involved young men drawn from the less-developed northeastern states--Maranhao, Piaui, Tocantins, and Ceara--and the central state of Goias to work in the northern and central-western regions of the country. In addition there were reports of forced labor in the construction industry, also involving young men mainly from the Northeast. News outlets reported cases of forced labor in production of canauba wax in this region. Cases of forced labor were also reported in the garment industry in the city of Sao Paulo; the victims were often from neighboring countries, particularly Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay, while others came from Haiti, South Korea, and China.

In April civil police and the Public Ministry of Labor rescued 31 workers on the premises of the Chinese multinational company Cofco Agri, the largest rescue of forced laborers in Mato Grosso State since 2009. The ministry fined the company, which manufactures agricultural products, two million reais ($619,000) for failing to provide potable water and subjecting laborers to unhealthy, overcrowded accommodation. Of the 31 rescued laborers, four were from Maranhao State and the remaining 27 from Mato Grosso.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Although comprehensive government statistics on the problem were unavailable, authorities estimated that thousands of women and adolescents were trafficked, both domestically and internationally, for commercial sexual exploitation. NGOs estimated that 75 thousand women and girls, many of them trafficked, were engaged in prostitution in neighboring South American countries, the United States, and Western Europe. Women were trafficked from all parts of the country. The government reported that trafficking routes existed in all states and the Federal District. Young women and girls were trafficked overseas for prostitution, while young men and boys were trafficked internally as slave laborers.

Internal trafficking of rural workers into forced labor schemes was a serious problem, while trafficking from rural to urban areas occurred to a lesser extent. Union leaders claimed that nearly all persons working as forced laborers had been trafficked by labor recruiters (see section 6.c.). Labor inspectors found a small number of persons from other countries trafficked to work in urban sweatshops. Labor recruiters generally recruited laborers from small municipalities in the North and Northeast and transported the recruits long distances to ranches and plantations in remote areas in the central part of the country. Most internally trafficked slave laborers originated from Maranhao and Piaui states, while Para and Matto Grosso states received the highest number of internally trafficked slave laborers.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The primary program to assist child victims of commercial sexual exploitation is the Sentinel Program, which establishes local reference centers to provide victims with psychological, social, and legal services.  In addition, the government’s Global Program to Prevent Trafficking in Persons is working to establish a database on trafficking in persons, including the trafficking of children and adolescents, strengthen efforts to combat the practice, and develop pilot programs to assist victims.

[646] The program is being implemented with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Pilot programs are being launched in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Goiás, and Ceará. In May 2004, the program released a study on a number of trafficking cases and investigations in the four areas where the pilot programs are being implemented.

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