Brazil rescues farm workers from slave-like conditions

The
Brazilian authorities say they have rescued 95 farm workers who were being kept
in slave-like conditions in two south-eastern states, the official Agencia
Brasil reports.

Forty-four
workers at a sugar-cane plantation in Rio de Janeiro state were not registered
and had no clean drinking water or safety equipment.

Another
51 workers were rescued from similar conditions at a strawberry farm in Minas
Gerais state, it added.

The
employees will be compensated.

Brazil’s
government launched a plan to eradicate slavery in 2002.

In May,
Joao Pedro Stedile, a top official at the Movement of Landless Workers (MST),
said 5,266 workers living in near-slave conditions had been rescued in 2008.

But he
warned that there were likely to be four to five times more.

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