Slavery 2.0 – “Slavery has never stopped, and will not stop soon either”

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Clearly visible within 1 kilometer from the island Da Maré , Salvador Bazil, is an old sugar cane plantation. A plantation where in former days slaves were employed. On the island Da Maré have nowadays settled communities of Quilombolas, ex slaves. Every day they are reminded of the slave trade a long time ago, and the inequality is still painfully noticeable in society. Also to Marizelia and Eliete, the fisher women we follow in the broadcasts in cooperation with partner CESE, Dutch broadcast channel EO Metterdaad and Kerk in Actie.

Inequality in Brazil

On the 23rd of August, UNESCO promotes a yearly International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Although Brazil was the first country to abolish slave trade in 1888, around 4 million African slaves were brought to Brazil in a period for over 300 years to work in mines, sugar- and tabaco plantations. The inequality is still visible in today’s Brazilian society. De richest 10 % of the Brazilians earn 40 times more than the poorest 10%; almost 70% of the Brazilians living in poverty is black or tinted; whites find a job more easily and get paid more; the chance that a black child dies before the age of 5 is twice as high as a white child; and half of the population is not connected to the sewage system. There are many facts to be mentioned here, but the inequality may already be clear.

Violation of Quilombolas’ rights

The Quilombolas on the island, working as artisanal fishermen, also (still) experience the unrighteous inequality in their struggle for public facilities and a safe and healthy working and living environment. The island lacks a sewage system, education and health services. But even worse, the large refineries poison their work environment and endanger the health of the fisher men and women. It is time to raise more awareness on their struggle, a struggle that is too often being silenced by the governmental institutions and private sector. A true violation of human rights.

Raising awareness

Kerk in Actie, Dutch partner of the ICCO Cooperation, and Dutch broadcast channel EO Metterdaad, went to Brazil to support the Quilombolas in their struggle. They financially, strategically and emotionally supported the lobby activities of the Quilombolas and the Movimiento de Pescadores e Pescadoras Artesenais (, raising not only awareness in Salvador, Brazil, but also awareness and funds in The Netherlands. The broadcasts focus on the strength of these people. People that are so combative because they are done with the violation of their rights and want the best for their children, their grandchildren..

More information

The broadcasts were shown on Dutch television for three weeks since the 31st of July. The broadcasts can be seen here (in Dutch and Portuguese):

If you would like to know about the background of the Quilombolas, read this publication of our partner CESE:

Quote: father Marizelia, June 2014

Nega vissen 1 marisceros JW filmt ElieteJW filmt Marizelia en haar nicht vissen schoonmaken Kids op het erf achter huis Marizelias ouders. Dit zijn een soort 'sociale woningen' die de Quilombolas door lobby hebben verkregen van de overheid voor armere Quil. IMG_2675 IMG_2246 IMG_2279 hier heeft Marizelia een mandje ter water gelaten ter nagedachtenis aan de overledenen door de vervuiling. ook met campagnepapieren van de MPP om te laten zien dat strijd doorg IMG_2319 IMG_2576 'protest' ging gepaard met veel typische lokale muziekafbeelding klaar met de milieudelicten zonder straf2 wapperen banner, muziek op toeristisch plein bij elevador3banner, in defende of the fishing territories jongeren op eiland, huphollandhup

What can we do for indigenous people?

On the 9th of August it’s the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples initiated by the United Nations. Days that are promoted to ‘mark important aspects of human life and history’, in this case a day that makes us aware of the inequality in the world and exclusion and neglect of rights of marginalized groups like indigenous people in national and international policies and programmes.

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Pathways of social change in ICCO South America’s strategy

The team of ICCO’s Regional Office South America received a training on the Theory of Change (ToC) last week, given by Dutch colleagues of ICCO’s global office: Hetty Walters and Martijn Matthijsen. The Theory of Change is strongly related to the global Multi-Annual Strategic Plan (MASP 2020) of ICCO Cooperation, and this training was aimed at providing background knowledge on the theory and inclusion of the theory in the regional strategic plan of South America’s regional office.

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Inauguration first cooking school Buen Apetito

The work of ICCO in South America started with an educational project in El Alto, and today we were back for the inauguration of the first cooking school of the project Manq’a / Buen Apetito.  The project involves the entire food chain; it trains youth in vulnerable and risk situations in El Alto to become a chef and to promote the traditional cuisine, leading to a healthier lifestyle and an increase in the demand for locally produced food.  The income of the farmers will increase, and the young chefs will have better job-perspectives. With help of the Nationale Postcode Loterij (Dutch Lotery Funds), ICCO could invest 1.5 million euros in the project, to enable 10 out of 14 cooking schools to train 3.000 young chefs between 16 and 28 in El Alto.

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