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News > Latin America

Brazil: Temer Cuts 70% of Funds To Combat Slave Labor

  • Brazil's senate-imposed president Michel Temer.

    Brazil's senate-imposed president Michel Temer. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 July 2018

From 2015 to 2017, the number of cases where authorities rescued people in forms of labour analogous with slavery decreased by almost 50 per cent.

Helping to end slave labor in Brazil doesn't appear to be a priority for Brazil's senate-imposed President Michel Temer. It has been revealed that last year his administration cut a whopping 70 percent of the budget dedicated to combating this scourge on society, according to Pragmatismo Politico.

Brazil's Temer Blames Minister as Slave Labor Decree Slammed

From 2015 to 2017, the number of official cases where authorities rescued people in forms of labour analogous with slavery decreased by almost 50 percent.

Surveillance authorities tasked with rooting out child exploration and work analogous with slavery has reached its lowest number of inspectors in 20 years.

“Our last big selection process to select fiscal work auditors was in 2010, which admitted roughly 400 fiscal auditors. Afterwards, in 2014, we admitted 96 more. But since then we have not had another selection process,” said fiscal work auditor Livia dos Cantos Ferreira.

Fiscal work auditors conduct their work in conjunction with the Public Labor Ministry.

Eliane Santos, a ministry attorney, said the country “experienced a historic process of advances in combating child labour” during the governments of former Brazilian Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his successor Dilma Rousseff.

“In the 1990s, there were 9.6 million children and adolescents who worked. This number was reduced to 2.7 million, according to PNAD (National Household Sample Survey) in 2015” Santos stressed. “This was possible as a result of social policies, of which Brazil used to be reference.”

Last year, human rights specialists working as part of the United Nations urged Temer and his administration to adopt urgent measures to combat slave labor in Brazil, criticizing a government decree ordering budget cuts destined for its eradication.

A joint statement by the human rights specialists read that although Brazil has oftentimes played a “leadership role in the fight against modern-day slavery” it's now “surprising and disappointing,” since Temer took office, “to see measures that can make the country lose terrain on this front,” according to Brasil 24/7.

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