Brazil Enlists Drones to Help Eradicate Slave Labor


The Brazilian government will start deploying a small army of drones as part of its latest effort to eradicate human trafficking in remote parts of the country.

Starting next month in the state of Rio de Janeiro, six drones mounted with video cameras will be sent to fly around and record businesses in rural areas suspected of forcing workers to toil away in slave-like conditions. Exactly what will be done with the footage is still unclear.

“Drones don’t substitute the inspector’s physical presence, but they will be useful out in the country, in the case of farms that are hard to reach by road, for example,” Bruno Barcia Lopes, coordinator of Rural Supervision for Rio de Janeiro’s Labor Secretariat, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The labor ministry in Brazil defines slave labor as work done in degrading conditions for less than minimum wage. For years, activists and NGOs have decried…

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