Minister of Human Rights calls for action on slave labor

The Minister of Human Rights and Citizenship, Silvio Almeida, highlighted, this Monday (27), the importance of a National Human Rights Policy, when commenting on the allegations of work analogous to slavery committed by a third-party company hired to provide services to wineries located in the south of the country.

“The case of workers rescued in a situation similar to that of slavery in Bento Gonçalves, in Rio Grande do Sul, shows the need for a National Human Rights Policy”, he said in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is participating in the 52nd session of the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations (UN).

The minister also said that he requested the convening of an extraordinary meeting of the National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor (Conatrae).

“Faced with the serious denunciations of the last few days, I requested the immediate convening of an extraordinary meeting of the National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor, Conatrae, so that we articulate the actions that can and should be taken in cases, such as demanding the investigation in the criminal sphere, in the labor sphere.”

According to Silvio Almeida, an administrative procedure is being instituted, and the rescued workers are receiving support from the government.

“I ordered the Ministry’s General Coordination to Combat Slave Labor to initiate an administrative procedure so that we can take the necessary measures to protect these workers, as well as make the necessary dialogues with the bodies involved to implement inspection and know , also, what is the status of this issue in the region”, he said.

“More broadly, I also ordered the National Secretary for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Isadora Brandão, to draw up a diagnosis about the state of the national policy for the eradication of Slave Labor in Brazil because, certainly, it is not an isolated case. , knowing how labor relations work in our country”, he added.

Most of the 207 rescued workers come from municipalities in Bahia.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office for Labor in Rio Grande do Sul reported that workers have already received part of their severance pay; and, with the exception of 12 of them, have already returned to their home state.

understand the case

On the night of last Wednesday (22), a joint action between the Federal Highway Police (PRF), Federal Police (PF) and Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) rescued 207 workers who faced degrading working conditions in Bento Gonçalves , in Serra Gaúcha.

The rescue took place after three workers who fled the scene contacted the PRF, in Caxias do Sul, and filed a complaint. The workers, who were attracted by the promise of a salary of BRL 3,000, reported facing delays in wage payments, physical violence, long working hours and the offer of spoiled food. They also reported that, since they arrived at the beginning of the month, they were coerced to remain in place under penalty of paying a fine for breach of the employment contract.

In last week’s action, the PF arrested a Bahian businessman responsible for the company. He was sent to the Bento Gonçalves prison.

In a note, the wineries said they were unaware of the irregularities committed against workers recruited by the outsourced company Oliveira & Santana, a provider of outsourced services.

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