“Slavery, no way!” – Education program to prevent trafficking in human beings for slavery


a) Mission

Diminish through education the quantity of workers recruited to work under slave conditions in the Northern, Northeastern and Centre-Western regions in the Brazilian Amazonia and Cerrado regions.

b) Description of action and innovation

In the towns and cities that register a high number of workers recruited, the program train and instruct popular leaderships, teachers and educators on contemporary slave labour and some other aspects related, so that they are able to propagate, in schools and throughout the communities, information about this serious violation of human rights.

The subjects broached in the courses are related to the structural causes of slave labour and the consequences of this kind of exploitation, providing the issue its social, political, economical and environmental dimension, aspects that must not be ignored to understand the matter completely.

After the course, Repórter Brasil makes several visits to the municipalities in order to follow the activities of the beneficiaries, gathering the teachers and the popular leaderships graduated. In these meetings, the participants receive up-to-date materials and news about the subject, discuss what has been done to prevent slave labour, talk about how to overcome difficulties and plan future actions. Repórter Brasil offers to its beneficiaries technical support for undetermined time and articulates the financial support for them to develop their own projects

Since the year 2004, when "Slave, no way" was created, almos than 3,000 people from 36 municipalities have participated, in six different Brazilian states (Maranhão, Piauí, Bahia, Pará, Tocantis and Mato Grosso), specially in the places of birth of the workers set free. It is considered – by the Brazilian federal government and by the entities that constitute the National Commission to Eradicate Slave Labour (NCESL) – the first great national project for preventing slavery implanted in a systematic way throughout the country.

c) Implementation

The "Slavery, no way!" program was born in response to the demands of the National Plan to Eradicate Slave Labour, launched by president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva in march 2003. It started in 2004 thanks to a partnership with Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Republic Presidency.

In order to implement this program partnerships are formed with entities of civil society and with the secretaries of education within the states and municipalities respectively. The purpose is to give local support with housing, alimentation, permission for teachers to participate and infrastructure required for the formation and training. The goal is to train fifty teachers and educators, and twenty five popular leaderships in each of the municipalities observed. So far, more than 2.000 people were trained in six states.

As a result of the program, teachers and popular leaders are developing strategies to disseminate the knowledge acquired according to the local reality. "Slavery, no way!" has been responsible for articulating a network of the entities that fight this crime – entities which used to act in a more pulverized way – and for inserting in that network the schools, which usually are left out of the combat.

d) Expansion

The program is in constant expansion. Its area of action is expanding and the municipalities that already implemented this program became a referent to prevent contemporary slavery.

In 2007 the Repórter Brasil office in Araguaína (TO) was created looking for expanding and strengthening its local action of "Slavery no way".

Another result of the experience accumulated by the program is the editing, in the end of 2007, of the book "Slavery, no way! – How to approach the subject of slave labour in class and in communities", containing the methodology used in our courses. More than 25 thousand samples of this book produced by the team "Slavery, no way!" were printed and distributed for free to teachers within the network of the states attended by the program with support of the local governments. In addition, in 2006 thanks to the partnership with the Ministry of Education, 42 thousand samples of a reader, entitled "Almanaque do Alfabetizador", were distributed in all the country in order to alert teacher about slavery.

Furthermore, "Prêmio Escravo, nem pensar!" ("Prize, Slavery, no way!") started in 2007. It gives technical and financial support for the execution of projects related to contemporary slavery prevention elaborated by professors and popular leaderships from the communities of all the states observed by the program. In the first year nine projects were selected and concretized with success. This year 2008, 16 proposals were selected and are being developed.

The goal is to extend the program to 50 municipalities until 2010 keeping the quality of service to all the communities.

e) Partnerships

The program has partnerships with national and international institutions, such as the Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Republic Presidency, the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the Ministry of Agrarian Development, the National Commission for the Eradication of Slavery (CONATRAE – acronym in portuguese), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Pastoral Commission of Land (CPT).

It also counts with the participation of dozens of local organizations and social movements, such as teacher syndicates, labour unions of rural workers, municipal secretaries of education, likewise responsible for its implantation, monitoring and evaluation.

f) Impacts- Beneficiaries

The program "Slavery, no way!" increases the level of consciousness of people from the communities about contemporary slave labor and related topics through the formation of professors, educators and leaders in the municipalities from the North, Northeast and Centre-west states. In these states is found the greater number of workers recruited. The most needed people of this kind of information are the youngest due to their physical condition that is observed by people willing to cheat them with the purpose to destruct and log the forest. The second needed group represent the children. In short time they would increase the number of people immersed in slave labor.

The impact is not limited to the municipalities that are the setting of this program. The program "Slavery, no way!" creates an area of impact since many of the participants live and work in other cities.

It is important to consider that the actions that have as an objective the decrease of the rural exodus end up influencing other regions because the latter benefit from the affluence of the great work force contingent. In this case, the Amazonia and Cerrado represent the main focus of freedom from work force. Although this effect is not the objective of this program the actions taken influence in some way the working relationships in the agricultural frontier when the rural landowners found workers aware and conscious to deal better working conditions.

In 2007, the partnership with the Comissão Pastoral da Terra and the Public Ministry of Labor organized the "Festival da Abolicão" ("Festival of Abolition") in the municipality of Araguaína. The Festival gathered hundreds of teachers and leaders formed by the program, partner institutions, and collaborators from seventeen municipalities. This cultural event about prevention to slave labor showed what has been done in that region in relation to this topic, gathering around 4.500 people.

g) Impacts- Public Policies

This program is being part of the public policies at the municipal, regional, state and national level. At the national level, the program is inclu
ded through the actions of the Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Republic Presidency, the Ministry of Education and the National Commission for the Eradication of slave labor. It is the objective of not only the National Plan for the Eradication of slave labor but also the plans at the state level such as those from Mato Groso, Pará and Maranhão.

Thanks to the systematization of the results about the trainings and formation of popular leaderships, the team of Repórter Brazil transformed the experience of "Slavery, no way!" in a method to be reproduced in other municipalities by their own professors without the presence of the instructors. One of the objectives of the project is that through partnerships, such as with the Ministry of Education and the Civil Society, the slave labor be consolidated as a fundamental topic in the curricula of public schools in all the country.

h) Sustainability- Financial assistance

The pilot project "Slavery, no way!" was sponsored by the Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Republic Presidency, airlines TAM, International Labor Organization, non-governmental organizations and Repórter Brazil. In 2005/2006 other partnerships also sponsored the project, these are: the project "Trilhas de Liberadade"/ Catolics Relief Service (CRS), Institute Carvão Cidadão, Sindicato Nacional dos Auditores Fiscais do Trabalho. At the same time support was given by non-governmental organizations, The Ministry of Education and Repórter Brazil. In the period 2006/2007 the International Labor Organization collaborated with the project. In 2007/2008 the program had the support of Fundação Doen, Secretary of Human Rights of Brazil, the government of Bahia State and the International Labor Organization among others.

The program will continue with the support of the Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Republic Presidency, the International Labor Organization, and the Comissão Pastoral da Terra since it is considered by the National Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labor a priority to fight against slave labor. The fundraising for the execution of "Slavery, no way!" is annual. What impedes the long term planning in the area of education is the implementation of activities that are longer than this period. That is the reason why the program is also looking for fundraisers who might be willing to form partnerships for 24 or 36 months.

i) Sustainability- Increment Prediction

The demand for the execution of the program "Slavery, no way!" increases at the same time that the topic of slave labor is gaining space in the political agenda at the national and state level. The program is a national referent of education in the area of prevention to that crime and it is already articulated to the plans at the state level, such as those of Pará, Maranhão, Piauí, Tocantins, Bahia e Mato Grosso. The program is also articulated to the municipal objectives.

At the same time, there are demands of professors, educators and popular leaderships trained by the program and local partners to repeat the experience in municipalities where they have contacts and where the index of human beings traffic is high.

It is impossible to measure limits to this demand, since there are still many municipalities without preventive policies where workers are recruited and since in the municipalities benefits by the program increase the actions to prevent slave labor articulated to "Slavery, no way!".

j) Sustainability- Barriers

The implementation of the program depends on a strong local partnership with entities, which protect workers rights or fight against slave labor, and with the public power. As the program extends the number of municipalities attended, it also limits the entrance of a range of new municipalities that have the profile required to the development of the program. Repórter Brazil in Araguaína played an important role to revert that tendency. Its role allowed to extend and strengthen the partnerships in the region and to establish contact wit new municipalities. The purpose is that in the mid term new offices of Repórter Brazil be opened in strategic areas in the Amazonia and Cerrado in order to attend the demands of "Slavery, no way!".

k) Application of the program in 2009

The team Repórter Brazil is reformulating the methodology of education and organization of the trainings of popular leaderships. During this period, pilot experiences will be applied to define a new line of action for this target group. The implementation is expected in the period 2009.

In order to take advantage of the accumulated experience, those representatives of the municipalities who were benefited by the program will gather in the I National Meeting of "Slavery, no way!". The objective is to strengthen and extend its impact in the prevention of slave labor. Almost 150 people from the six attended states will gather for three days in Açailândia (MA). The meeting aims to promote the exchanging of experiences between professors and popular leaderships that are part of the program, as well as to stimulate them to share information about their activities, difficulties, challenges and solutions. At the same time, great experiences would be highlighted in this meeting.



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