Açailândia Center for the Defense of Life and Human Rights

Legal aid and human rights advocacy for workers freed from slave labor in the State of Maranhão in 2008 and 2009


The center’s mission is to protect life where it is threatened the most and human rights where they are least respected, with prime attention to the poor and exploited.

Their actions are focused on the elimination and prevention of slavery, through campaigns to disclose the problem, as well as the preparing and forwarding of complaints of slave labor to the competent bodies.

In addition, the organization provides the victims of slave labor with assistance and guidance, and carries out several activities based on the principle of combating slave labor in the spheres of prevention, repression and social integration of the freed worker.


The project – supported by the Brazil Fund – aims to locate the freed workers and prepare a social and legal report about them. After that, they will be provided with guidance on their rights and the possibility of suing those who took advantage of them for moral damages. The goal is to ensure compensation to workers released in the years 2008 and 2009.



Approximately 25 thousand people remain in slave labor conditions in Brazil, according to estimates by the Federal Government. Maranhão occupies the 4th place among the states with the highest numbers of releases and it is also pointed to as the main state of origin of the freed workers, according to the Ministry of Labor and Employment and the International Labor Organization. Three pillars support this serious human rights violation: impunity, profit at any cost and extreme poverty.


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