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Venezuela: New regime effectively amounts to forced labour

    FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images
    July 28, 2016

    A new decree establishing that any employee in Venezuela can be effectively made to work in the country’s fields as a way to fight the current food crisis is unlawful and effectively amounts to forced labour, said Amnesty International.

    “Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The new decree completely misses the point when it comes to findings ways for Venezuela to crawl out of the deep crisis it has been submerged in for years. Authorities in Venezuela must focus on requesting and  getting much needed humanitarian aid to the millions in need across the country and develop a workable long term plan to tackle the crisis.”

    The decree, officially published earlier this week, establishes that people working in public and private companies can be called upon to join state-sponsored organizations specialized in the production of food. They will be made to work in the new companies temporarily for a minimum of 60 days after which their “contracts” will be automatically renewed for an extra 60-day period or they will be allowed to go back to their original jobs.

    Read more:

    Petty politics - the cause of crushing poverty in oil rich Venezuela (Feature, 4 July 2016)

    Venezuela in crisis: “If you are lucky, you eat twice a day” (Feature, 24 June 2016)

    Venezuela in intensive care (Oped, 22 June 2016)

    Venezuela: Stubborn politics accelerate catastrophic humanitarian crisis (News, 10 June 2016)

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    For media inquiries, please contact Jacob Kuehn in media relations

    613-744-7667, ext 236

    email: jkuehn@amnesty.ca