Visits took place in Brasília (DF), Belém, Marabá, and Itupiranga (PA), where some of the actions linked to the program are carried out

Representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which funds the Fair Labor Program in Brazil, met with governmental entities, public agencies, and other project implementers in Brasília (DF), as well as program partners in Belém, Marabá, and Itupiranga (PA) at the end of January 2024. The agenda aimed to present the actions and impacts produced by the network of organizations working to eradicate forced labor in the cattle ranching sector in Pará. The visit was accompanied by PADF’s Senior Director for Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights, Camila Payan, and PADF’s Deputy Director of Operations in Brazil, Pedro Dana.

In Brasília, the group held strategic meetings with public institutions engaged with the Fair Labor Program and leading the issues of trafficking in persons and forced labor. In addition to representatives from the U.S. State Department and PADF, the visits included representatives from the U.S. Embassy, as well as colleagues from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS), organizations that also have projects funded in Brazil by the U.S. State Department through the Program to End Modern Slavery (PEMS).

Both the Fair Labor Program and other projects funded by the U.S. State Department provide data analysis and evidence that offer a more comprehensive understanding of how to prevent and improve the lives of people who are vulnerable or in conditions of exploitation similar to human trafficking.

The visits in Pará included dialogues with civil society organizations partnering with PADF on projects for community engagement and protection, and assistance to survivors and vulnerable workers in cattle farming in the state of Pará. These organizations include: The Institute of Legal Sciences of the Federal University of Pará (ICJ/UFPA), which operates the Anti-Slavery Legal Clinic; the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT); the Society for the Defense of Sexual Rights in the Amazon (SODIREITOS); and the Union of Workers of São Felix do Xingú (STTR).

In Belém, in addition to visiting the facilities of the Legal Clinic of UFPA, the group met other key partners in the implementation of actions to eradicate forced labor in Pará, such as the Labor Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPT PA/AP); the State Secretariat of Racial Equality and Human Rights; and the Association of Magistrates of Labor Justice of the 8th Region (AMATRA PA/AP), which gathers judges and justices who also work on the issue of forced labor and may become new formal partners of PADF in strengthening jurisprudence against human trafficking and victim assistance.

In Marabá (PA), 543 km from the capital Belém, the group participated in the launch of the “I Am Free from Slavery” campaign and visited the headquarters of the organization SODIREITOS. In Itupiranga, 50 km from Marabá, the visitors learned about CPT’s work.

For the Technical Director of the Program, Irina Bacci, the agenda and visits were a significant moment to understand the positive advances of the Fair Labor Program and the paths that will be taken to fulfill all project commitments, as well as an important space for exchanging experiences and best practices with other projects operating in Brazil. She also emphasized that “the commitments made in strategic meetings further strengthen the Brazilian government’s capacity to both eradicate and prevent human trafficking for forced labor and slavery-like working conditions.”

Brazil-United States Relations

“The United States has a long history of collaboration with Brazil to address challenges at the local, regional, and global levels. This year, we are proud to celebrate the bicentennial of diplomatic relations between our countries and hope that our partnership contributes to improving people’s lives. Through diplomacy and cooperation, we are working together for a better future, which I hope includes the end of human trafficking,” emphasized Natasha Greenberg, Director of the Program to End Modern Slavery.

The issue of fair labor is prominent in this bilateral relationship. In September 2023, the presidents of both countries, Joseph Biden and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, signed a new commitment with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in five priority areas of action regarding safe and decent work and the protection of the rights of workers.

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This website article was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

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