Brazil’s Ministry of Labor and Employment’s Special Mobile Inspection Group set a record in 2005 in the number of operations to combat slave labor. 81 operations were carried out, involving the inspection of 183 rural properties and the release of 4,133 workers. A total of US$ 3 million in indemnities were paid.
The mobile group is composed of seven teams, each including Labor inspectors and attorneys and Federal Police commissioners and agents.
The group also receives help from the Solicitor’s Office of the Republic, the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).
In the last three years the group has carried out 219 operations, 170% more than during the period 2000-2002.
Marcelo Campos, adviser in the Ministry’s Department of Work Inspection, informed that the release of workers has occurred mainly in states in which there is a forceful expansion of the agricultural frontier invading native forests.
"The chief states in which workers were released are Pará, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Bahia, and Goiás. These are states with a very high incidence of slave workers," he observed.
Pará, in the Amazon region, was the state with the largest number of freed workers: 1,128 in all.
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