According to the Global Slavery Index 2016, there are an estimated 161,100 individuals in conditions of modern slavery in Brazil. Many are forced to work in the same industries that have fueled deforestation, the exploitation of indigenous land and of traditional groups, and violated protected areas of the Amazon.
Slave labour in Brazil is being used for logging of precious woods and in deforestation for agriculture. Labourers involved in this work are predominantly men and boys aged 15 to 40 from low-income families. Commonly recruited from communities characterised by extreme poverty, illiteracy and rural unemployment, these workers are highly vulnerable to being exploited and enslaved, especially through debt bondage. Living conditions often lack basic sanitation and housing, offer no access to medical care, and leave workers susceptible to tropical diseases or other illness. Threats and physical abuse are common.
In 2016, with support from Humanity United, the Freedom Fund commissioned FSG to refine its strategy for Brazil. The recommendations are attached in English and can be found in Portuguese here.