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Brazil's Supreme Court Suspends Slavery Decree

10/25/2017 - 11h18

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LETÍCIA CASADO
REYNALDO TUROLLO JR.
LAÍS ALEGRETTI
FROM BRASÍLIA

Justice Rosa Weber, of the STF (Federal Supreme Court) suspended the decree changing slave labor inspection rules.

The interim order is effective until the case is tried in plenary session by the 11 justices of the STF. It is up to chief justice Carmen Lúcia to schedule the date of the trial.

"The potential effect of Ministry of Labor Decree No. 1,129 / 2017 is the extension of the time span during which Brazil still carries the stigma of slavery," states Weber in the decision.

Last Monday (16), the government published such decree changing the definition of slavery, its assessment criteria and publication method of the so-called "dirty list", with the names of those involved in this type of crime.

The decree limited the concept of slave labor to "restriction of a victim's freedom of movement" in order for the action to be considered a crime.

The measure pleases the rural caucus, which supports president Michel Temer in Congress. It was published amidst the procedural progress of the second charge against the president in the lower house of congress.

The decree was criticized for violating ILO (International Labor Organization) rules and the code of criminal procedure. According to Rosa Weber, the decree's text is ambiguous and leaves room for interpretation of fundamental concepts, such as "forced labor".

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
Justice Rosa Weber, of Brazil's Federal Supreme Court
Justice Rosa Weber, of Brazil's Federal Supreme Court

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