Modern Era and Quasi-slavery
In 1995, 288 farmworkers were freed from what was officially described as slavery, a total which rose to 583 in 2000. In 2001, however, the Brazilian government freed more than 1,400 slave laborers. Some believe that most cases probably go undetected. A national survey conducted in 2000 by the Pastoral Land Commission, a Roman Catholic church group, estimated that there were more than 25,000 forced workers and slaves in Brazil. In 2004 the Brazilian government acknowledged to the United Nations that 25,000-40,000 Brazilians work under work conditions "analogous to slavery." The top anti-slavery official in Brasília, nation's capital, estimates the number of modern slaves at 50,000.
More than 1,000 slave-like laborers were freed from a sugar cane plantation in 2007 by the Brazilian Government. In 2008, the Brazilian government freed 4,634 slaves in 133 separate criminal cases at 255 different locations. Freed slaves received a total compensation of £2.4 million (equal to $4.8 million).
In March 2012, European consumer protection organizations published a study about slavery and cruelty to animals involved when producing leather shoes. A Danish organisation was contracted to visit farms, slaughterhouses and tanneries in Brasil and India. The conditions of humans found were catastrophic, as well the treatment of the animals was found cruel. None of the 16 companies surveyed was able to track the used products down to the end producers. Timberland did not participate, but was found the winner as it showed at least some signs of transparency on its website.
Read more about this topic: Slavery In Brazil
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