Showing Brazilian workers the risks of being recruited to perform slave labor is the aim of the manual Escravo, Nem Pensar! (Slave, No Way!), produced by Brazil’s Ministry of Education (MEC) in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the non-governmental organization Repórter Brasil.
Distribution of the manual began last week. The first recipients were 36,000 youth and adult literacy instructors in Bahia, Tocantins, Maranhão, Pará, Mato Grosso, and Piauí, states with high indices of slave labor.
The pedagogical coordinator of Youth and Adult Education in the Secretariat of Ongoing Education, Literacy Instruction, and Diversity (SECAD/MEC), Maria Margarida Machado, informed that the purpose of the manual is to help form citizenship among students engaged in the process of becoming literate.
"There are still 25,000 people submitted to slave labor, and literacy instructors can help us with this problem," she said.
She emphasized that, even though the manual will not resolve the problem of access to the labor market in Brazil, it represents one more element in the campaign against illegal forms of labor.
"It is an attempt to expand access to jobs and seek alternatives, such as the organization of a solidary economy. Workers need to adopt a different perspective, since we are talking about a population that is initiating literacy training, so discussing insertion is practically impossible."