Brazil’s Labour Ministry recently announced to the Thomson Reuters Foundation the deployment of six DJI Inspire 1 drones to investigate companies suspected of using forced, low-paid or unpaid workers in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
“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,” Brazilian labor official Bruno Barcia Lopes stated in the report. However, the Inspire drones can point investigators in the right direction with 4K videography and 12 megapixel photography.
According to the International Labor Organization, around 1.8 million people in Latin America “work for little or no pay as forced laborers.” In Brazil, nailing down those numbers has proven difficult. As Leonardo Sakamoto, head of São Paulo-based Repórter Brasil, told Reuters: “We can’t say things are better, or that slave labor has migrated to the cities, and it’s almost impossible to calculate numbers.” “Slave labor is like Silly Putty. Every time you squeeze it, it assumes a different form,” he added.
Using drones will help fill a gap in slave-labor investigation after a Brazilian Supreme Court decision ordered the Labour Ministry to stop publishing the “Dirty List.” Reuters Foundation writer Adriana Brasileiro explains:
“Launched in November 2003, the blacklist has revealed to the public hundreds of companies and individual employers who were investigated by labor prosecutors and found to be using slaves. The list of about 600 employers is updated every six months. If after two years a company pays all its fines and proves that it has remedied working conditions, it is removed from the list. Blacklisted employers are blocked from receiving government loans and have restrictions placed on sales of their products. They also undergo private sector boycotts, as more than 400 banks and companies have signed the National Slave Eradication pact of 2005, pledging not to do business with blacklisted employers.”
Slavery-fighting drones are just one more example of how UAV tech is making the world a better place.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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