Posts by: Michelle Lillie

Human Trafficking Surrounding the Olympics

Human Trafficking Surrounding the Olympics

The ongoing political, economic and public health crisis in Brazil coupled with the near-total lack of preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games makes this a challenging time for Brazil. Besieged by rumors of shoddy construction, insufficient funds and inadequate planning…

Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership Alleviate Forced Labor?

Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership Alleviate Forced Labor?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest regional trade deal in history. Talks to create the TPP began over seven years ago and it was finally drafted on October 5, 2015. The twelve member countries, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam covers 792 million people and make up 40 percent of the world’s economic activity. 

Brazil’s Dual Reaction to Forced Labor

In 1888, Brazil became the last nation in the Western Hemisphere to formally abolish slavery. Over the course of 300 years, an estimated four million Africans were brought to Brazil to work as slaves in sugar plantations and gold mines. Although no longer institutionalized, the tradition of slavery has yet to end in Brazil and still exists in the form of forced labor, debt bondage [and] degrading conditions that violate human rights or overwork that threatens life or health. The 2014 Global Freedom Index estimated that 155,300 people are currently enslaved in Brazil, most of whom are involved in agricultural or mineral production as part of a supply chain for large multinational corporations.