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19 Mär 2014

Odebrecht lawsuit (re forced labour in Angola)

Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
19 Mär 2014
Ort der Einreichung: Brasilien
Ort des Vorfalls: Brasilien


Odebrecht (part of Novonor) Brasilien Diamanten



In 2014, a Brazilian prosecutor filed a lawsuit against Odebrecht accusing the company of human trafficking and of maintaing workers in slave labour conditions. The Court convicted the Odebrecht group and ordered the company to pay damages.

Factual Background

In March 2014, the Brazilian Government notified Odebrecht, a Brazilian multinational, of allegations of slave labour conditions in its Angola operations.  These accusations were related to the construction of a biofuel plant for Biocom (Companhia de Bioenergia de Angola), a local bio-fuel company owned by Odebrecht, Sonangol, and Damer Indústria.  The company denied the allegations.

Legal Argument

A Brazilian prosecutor accused the company of human trafficking and maintaining Brazilian workers in slave labour conditions in Angola.

Legal Proceeding

On 13 June 2014, a Brazilian prosecutor filed a lawsuit against Odebrecht in the labour court of Araraquara, Brazil.  The prosecutor sought economic compensation for the workers and payment of a fine.  The complaint also demanded that public banks suspend loans awarded to the company.  

Latest Update

In September 2015, the Labour court convicted Odebrecht group and ordered the company to pay 50 million reais ($13 million) in damages.

- [PT] Odebrecht terá de pagar R$ 50 milhões de indenização por trabalho escravo, Alana Gandra, Agência Brasil, 2 de setembro de 2015
- Brazil convicts Odebrecht Group for slavery-like practices in Angola, Jeb Blount, Reuters, 1 Sep 2015
- [PT] Odebrecht leva imprensa a Angola às vésperas de audiência sobre escravidão, UOL, Brazil 29 Aug 2014
- Brazil’s biggest builder accused of using 'slave labour', Joao Fellet, 18 Jun 2014
- Brazilian multinationals accused of 'slave labour' in Angola, Arnaldo Vieira, 19 Mar 2014
- [PT] Operários denunciam condições 'degradantes' em obra da Odebrecht em Angola (Angola e Brasil), BBC Brasil, 20 de dezembro de 2013