The new slavery
Fumaça

The new slavery

According to Walk Free Foundation, there are 26,000 victims of modern slavery in Portugal, but several investigators complain that the numbers should be higher. Let's get to...

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    49 backers

  • 11/02/2021

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According to Walk Free Foundation, there are 26,000 victims of modern slavery in Portugal, but several investigators complain that the numbers should be higher. Let's get to know the stories of those who suffer from slavery by their own voice

In April 2018, the Loures court sentenced 13 people from a human trafficking network (TSH) to effective prison terms in Portugal. A couple, with the help of three children, two nephews, and dozens of other accomplices (in total, there were 26 defendants), transported people of Bulgarian and Romanian nationality to Portugal for labor and sexual exploitation, profiting from it. For the Public Ministry, the contract took place from 2011 to 2015 and the victims were enticed with “better conditions in Portugal”. They were promised “a good salary and good working conditions, as well as decent accommodation for each of the workers and for the families, who sometimes accompanied them, including children”. Arriving in the country, the reality was different: they were offered, in exchange for money, mostly, to agricultural companies in Alentejo. Neither good working conditions nor decent accommodation. Formerly trafficking and slavery.

The heads were convicted : 16 years for men, 15 for women, for a crime of criminal association and 31 crimes of human trafficking, each. Others followed, also in prison, with lighter sentences. An exception case, which confirms the rule of impunity that continues to allow the existence of enslaved people in Portugal today. According to the Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings , 175 people were identified, in 2017, as “presumed victims of TSH”. They are usually immigrants, coming from Africa and Eastern Europe and, for the most part, victims of labor trafficking, unlike other countries in Europe, where the majority are taken for sex trafficking.

But it doesn't stop there. According to the Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings, the numbers do not quite match reality. The same accusation is made by Cláudia Pedra, director of the Association of Strategic and International Studies and former director of Amnesty International Portugal. In an interview with Fumaça, he accuses the Portuguese government of “forging the data of trafficking in Portugal, so as not to sow panic”. Acácio Pereira, president of the union of SEF inspectors, said to DN : "If we multiplied the number of human trafficking cases in the official reports by 20, it would still be little to portray the reality that is felt on the ground".

In this investigation, we will hear the stories of those who suffered from modern slavery and human trafficking in Portugal. What they suffered on the trip to Portugal, and what light they see (if any) at the end of the tunnel. We will also find out which companies use these people and the conditions imposed on them. We will speak with researchers who have been following this problem and with political representatives responsible for the area. The result will be a series called Smoke, with several episodes, that contextualizes and explains what is happening in the country.

About the author

Fumaça is an independent, progressive and dissident journalism project.

We are independent, because our editorial choices depend on the editorial interest. Our editorial status is our guideline and the certainty that it is the editorial staff that decides the publication's destinations.

We are progressive, because we believe in social progress, in the universality of Human Rights, effectively ensured, as well as in the idea that all people must have their basic needs guaranteed.

We are dissidents, because we understand that there are other media narratives to present, that there is more world, other stories and perspectives to show, different voices to hear. We are interested in talking to those who have less space.

We are not the microphone feet of the powers that be installed and we assume ourselves as a counter-power means. We want to decode the formal and informal processes and structures of representative democracy in which we live: questioning the decisions made, making those who make them accountable and scrutinizing the people who command and act in the party-political system.

Budget and due dates

The total budget requested will allow two journalists to work for two months, focused solely on this investigation. After the entire piece is written and recorded, we will need to involve a sound engineer in the work, who will edit and mix the audio. So that we can accompany several people and workplaces during the collection of testimonies, we will also have transport and accommodation expenses of around 800 €.

Journalist, two months: € 3600
Journalist, two months: € 3600
Sound engineer, one month: 1800 €
Transport and accommodation: 800 €
Total: € 11,600

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    Have access to all documents and drafts that we use to prepare the investigation. Possibility to give feedback and comments during the investigation.

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    Access to research while it is being done. Free access to one of our workshops on: making a podcast, marketing, sound editing, video editing, Arabic or other

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Sun, 02/10/2022 - 11:00

Mon, 15/02/2021 - 14:55

Payout completed

The raised funds have been transferred to the campaign owner

11/02/2021

Campaign ended

The campaign failed to raise the total amount

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 12:14

Vamos desistir da campanha

Espero que esteja tudo bem contigo. Se calhar já recebeste esta mensagem por email mas queremos ter mesmo a certeza que todas as pessoas que apoiaram a nossa campanha a recebem ...

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  • Fumaça

    Vamos desistir da campanha

    Espero que esteja tudo bem contigo. Se calhar já recebeste esta mensagem por email mas queremos ter mesmo a certeza que todas as pessoas que apoiaram a nossa campanha a recebem (desculpa se vai em duplicado). 

    Vamos desistir da campanha que apoiaste "A Nova Escravatura", mas não da investigação que queremos fazer. O que é que isto quer dizer? 

    Com o decorrer do tempo, apercebemo-nos que não era viável manter todas as campanhas de crowdfunding que começámos. 2020 foi um ano atípico e fez-nos pensar muito na nossa estratégia e em como podemos financiar o nosso jornalismo de investigação. A redação do Fumaça esteve muito perto de terminar, mas conseguimos aguentar-nos com a ajuda de centenas de pessoas que contribuíram nas três campanhas que fechámos em agosto e com uma nova bolsa de apoio ao jornalismo independente da Open Society Foundations.

    Mas desde o início do Fumaça que temos um sonho: criar o primeiro projeto de jornalismo em Portugal totalmente financiado pelas pessoas. Isto enquanto todo o nosso trabalho é sem fins lucrativos e aberto a toda a gente, sem premiums nem paywalls. 

    As campanhas de crowdfunding ajudam-nos a financiar trabalhos específicos, mas não garantem a sustentabilidade do Fumaça a longo prazo. O que faz com que o nosso trabalho de investigação continue são as contribuições mensais das mais de mil pessoas que fazem parte da Comunidade Fumaça e que hoje cobrem cerca de 30% dos nossos custos. E esse será o nosso grande foco nos próximos anos para continuarmos a publicar séries documentais como “Exército de Precários”, uma investigação de dois anos no interior da segurança privada que acabámos de lançar, "Palestina, histórias de um país ocupado", vencedora do prémio Gazeta Revelação, "Aquilo é Europa" sobre imigração, refugiados e a União Europeia, e "A Serpente, o Leão e o Caçador" sobre a crise climática. 

    A investigação sobre as milhares de vítimas de escravatura moderna, em Portugal, vai acontecer, independentemente das circunstâncias, porque achamos que é importante contar esta história. Mas queremos fazê-la da melhor forma possível, dedicando-lhe tempo e todo o nosso esforço. Para que isso aconteça temos de garantir que a redação do Fumaça tem os recursos para continuar a fazer o jornalismo em que acreditamos, mantendo salários dignos, contratos de trabalho e sem falsos estágios nem falsos recibos verdes (todas as nossas despesas estão disponíveis para consulta pública, bem como todos os contratos das bolsas que recebemos - podes consultar tudo em fumaca.pt/sobre/#transparencia). 

    Por isso, gostava de pedir-te duas coisas:
    1. Se puderes, mantém o teu donativo para esta campanha e ajuda-nos a financiar as nossas investigações jornalísticas. 
    2. Se ainda não fazes parte da nossa comunidade, considera contribuir mensalmente para o Fumaça e ajuda a garantir a sustentabilidade da nossa redação em fumaca.pt/contribuir.

    No entanto, se ainda assim quiseres cancelar o teu donativo e desistires de contribuir para o nosso jornalismo de investigação, nós devolvemos-te o dinheiro. Basta que nos respondas ou envies email para equipa@fumaca.pt

    Seja qual for a tua escolha, continuarás a poder aceder aos trabalhos que publicamos, incluindo a investigação que querias ver financiada quando a lançarmos. 

    Se já contribuis regularmente para o Fumaça, muito obrigada por fazeres parte do nosso jornalismo e da nossa comunidade. Estamos cada vez mais perto do nosso objetivo.

    Obrigada pelo teu contributo e por acreditares, como nós, no jornalismo feito com profundidade e tempo para pensar. 

    Um abraço,

    Maria Almeida
    Co-fundadora e jornalista no Fumaça

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