What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?
To provide tools to enable the private sector and Brazilian society to avoid commercialization of products from suppliers that used slave labor.
Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?
In 2003, Repórter Brasil started an extensive research to show how goods produced using slave labor were placed in Brazilian and global economy. Problems were identified in the following productive chains: cattle breading, vegetal coal, soy, cotton, timber, corn, rice, beans, fruits, potato, and sugar cane, among others. With the research concluded, Brazilian and multinationals companies that were identified in this network were invited to develop tools to avoid suppliers that use this kind of exploitation. The dialogues originated the National Pact for Eradication of Slave Labor, the only one of its kind existing in the whole world. This initiative already counts with 160 companies and 20 commercial associations, what represents almost 25% of Brazilian GNP.
Until then, the system for combating slave labor had not involved the private sector. The productive chains studies and the National Pact made possible to fight slavery through its commercial bias. With them, society can punish who profits restraining others’ freedom.
Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?
The proposition is already implemented. In 2004, the Special Secretariat for Human Rights, linked to the Brazilian Presidency, asked to Repórter Brasil to conduct a large study, in partnership with International Labor Organization (ILO), identifying the productive chains of slave labor. The methodology had already been developed by Repórter Brasil in 2003. Eight researchers mapped, for one year, the commercial relations of 100 farms from a Brazilian government cadastre that shows employers identified using slave labor. The result was a network of 200 national and international companies that commercialize products from these farms.
With this study finished, Repórter Brasil, ILO and Instituto Ethos coordinated meetings with the companies identified in the study. The initiated conversations evolved leading to the launch of the National Pact, in May, 2005, to face slave labor in Brazil in an economical way
How do you plan to grow your innovation?
O processo está em constante expansão. A pesquisa de cadeias produtivas passou a ser realizada de forma contínua, trazendo novos signatários para o grupo.
This process is in constant expansion. The productive chains research is now conducted continuously, bringing new signers to the group. Repórter Brasil offers free of charge trainings for employees of associated companies aiming that they can implement the established principles. With support from companies it was created a communication channel (www.pactonacional.com.br) that contributes to corporate social responsibility policies regarding the combat to slavery.
We have received invitations from governments and social organizations from other countries, as the United States, Germany and Pakistan, to present what is the National Pact and how it contributed to punish bad entrepreneurs without being necessary to raise commercial barriers against a country.
We are building with civil society organizations, entrepreneurs and international organizations, supported by Brazilian government, the extension of the Pact to other countries as Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru. The objective is to foster the creation of a South American Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor.
Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?
The main partners, and also responsible for the success of the National Pact, are ILO and Instituto Ethos, which with Repórter Brasil compose the Management Committee of the Pact. These institutions were partner in the promotion of decent work in Brazil. The Instituto Observatório Social, connected to unions is partner in monitoring results.
Previous partners of Repórter Brasil in already existent projects for combating slavery also joined this process due to pre established mutual trust, such as Comissão Pastoral da Terra (Pastoral Land’s Commission). Repórter Brasil is member of National Commission for Eradication of Labor Work that involves federal government and civil society. Other members of this commission also contribute to the National Pact, such as Special Secretariat for Human Rights and Ministry of Work and Employment.
We consider also the companies that signed the Pact as partners, as without their adhesion this agreement would not have had any success. As example, some of them are Brazilian companies such as Petrobrás, Vale do Rio Doce, Coteminas and Ipiranga; and multinationals companies such as Exxon, Texaco, Shell and Wal-Mart.