New partnership supports expansion to new sector and new geography.

GFEMS announces new award to fight forced labor in Brazil

  • Supply Chain Management
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    The Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) is launching a new partnership with the Program to End Modern Slavery at the United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons targeting labor trafficking in the coffee supply chain in Brazil.

    Coordinated Action towards Forced labor Eradication (CAFE) aims to reduce forced labor in Brazil’s coffee industry, the largest in the world. CAFE will focus on the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil’s top coffee producing region. The coffee industry has more cases of forced labor reported than any other industry in the country. Large-scale raids by authorities in recent years demonstrates a widespread problem.

    The CAFE partnership seeks to create large-scale change by combining focus on protection, prosecution, and survivor inclusion. GFEMS is proud to team up again with ELEVATE to identify and address labor abuses on coffee farms. And we are excited to work with new partners. In collaboration with Stanford University’s Human Trafficking Data Lab, we will be developing, testing, and rolling out an innovative machine learning-based tool to model trafficking risks, supporting Brazilian authorities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of labor prosecutions. Instituto Trabalho Decente also joins the partnership to guide development of both activity streams and embed the tools developed with local stakeholders. GFEMS will ensure the CAFE partnership is survivor-centered through the formation of a new Expert Advisory Council, anchored by Survivor Advisors.

    “We couldn’t be more excited about this exciting new partnership with the US State Department,” said the Fund’s CEO Alex Thier. “Working with Brazilian authorities, survivors, and civil society leaders to disrupt forced labor in the coffee industry is exactly why the Global Fund exists. Bringing together world class partners like Stanford University, ELEVATE, and Instituto Trabalho with Brazilian leaders is the key to changing the systems that perpetuate these crimes and eradicating forced labor from global supply chains.”

    The launch of CAFE marks the growth of the successful partnership between the US State Department and GFEMS, building on highly impactful investments across Asia and East Africa. GFEMS is grateful for the continued support and partnership of the State Department, and all of our global partners, in our mission to end modern slavery. You can read more about our innovative programs and research to end commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor in many industries, end impunity for traffickers, and support survivors here.

    Questions about this announcement may be sent to media@gfems.org.

    This press release was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

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