Brazil slave labor victims seek justice at Americas’ top rights court

Anastasia Moloney – Reuters, 02/24/2016

Rights groups representing scores of Brazilian workers who they say were trafficked into slavery during the 1990s said they expected the top Americas human rights court to rule in their favor in the first case of the kind it has heard.

The case heard by the Inter-American Human Rights Court last week involved 340 men aged 15 to 40, mostly poor, illiterate and of African descent, who activists say were lured under false promises to work on a vast cattle ranch in Brazil’s northern state of Para.

“Workers were subjected to death threats and were not free to leave the ranch. They didn’t have any type of toilet, and their drinking water was the same water used by cattle,” said Viviana Krsticevic, head of the Centre for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), one of two rights groups representing the victims, and who gave declarations at the court.

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