Elderly Woman Rescued after 50 Years in Slave-Like Conditions

Hired as a domestic in Santos (SP), woman had no salary and could not leave the house

São Paulo

Civil Police rescued an 89-year-old woman living in an apartment in Gonzaga, an upscale neighborhood in Santos (SP), after it was reported that she will living in a slave-like situation.

According to the investigation, she worked for almost 50 years as a domestic servant for a family, without a formal contract, salary or any kind of payment, and could only leave the house for work-related tasks.

A neighbor made the complaint to police and recorded offenses against the elderly woman; since August 2020, she has been in the care of family members, including a granddaughter.

This month, the Ministry of Labor sued the family that subjected her to the condition of slave, asking for the blocking of movable and immovable property worth R$ 1 million and the conviction for collective moral damages, also in R$ 1. million, which they wanted invested in programs to combat slave labor.

As the cases are carried out in secret, it was not possible to obtain the names of the accused or to contact their defense.

According to the Ministry of Labor, 742 people were rescued from slave labor in 2020.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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