07 December 2022 Press Release Labour rights

Philanthropy takes action to promote labour rights in Brazil

Fundo Brasil de Direitos Humanos, in partnership with Laudes Foundation, Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations launches US$8.5 million fund to promote labour rights in Brazil

São Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, 7 December 2022: Labora - Fundo de Apoio ao Trabalho Digno (Fund for Decent Work), launches today to support Brazilian labour movements and civil society organisations in promoting labour rights.

The US $8.5 million fund seeks to catalyse philanthropic investments to protect and advance the rights of urban and rural workers and empower those most vulnerable to exploitation and precarious conditions, such as informal, migrant and care sector workers.

Fundo Brasil de Direitos Humanos is responsible for the implementation and management of the new fund, with the support of three global seed contributors, Laudes Foundation, the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations.

At an event in Sao Paulo today, the fund will launch a call for proposals from non-governmental organisations, collectives and multistakeholder initiatives working to defend workers’ rights in Brazil. Labora’s first round of funding will award R$1.6 million in grants for up to 25 projects.

“We are a foundation with profound understanding of the field of human rights in Brazil, its challenges and root causes,” says Ana Valéria Araújo, executive director, Brazil Fund. “For the past 15 years, we have been giving financial and non-financial support to small organisations in urban and remote places. Fundo Brasil’s expertise in managing and implementing funds will be key for the success of this new fund.”

“Our global economy is characterised by a power imbalance between employers and vulnerable workers. Laudes Foundation’s work in labour rights over 10 years in Brazil has exposed the deficiencies in the economic system which perpetuate inequity and vulnerability. We are proud to bring together three global philanthropic organisations to seed fund the Labora fund in support of the brave approaches of civil society, and labour groups to seize opportunities to rebuild an economic system that is equitable and sustainable,” says Amol Mehra, Director of Industry Transformation, Laudes Foundation.

“To overcome the inequalities that impact Brazilian society, it is essential to confront the weight of racism and gender discrimination in the labour market that can influence opportunities and rights for workers. The Labora Fund is a welcome reinforcement to face the enormous challenges to constructing equality and social justice in Brazil. The Ford Foundation is very happy to be able to contribute to this initiative,” says Atila Roque, Director of Ford Foundation in Brazil.

“At a time when the workers’ rights will be renegotiated in Brazil, it is essential to strengthen the social movements and organisations that contribute to this discussion and work to promote decent work in the country,'' says Pedro Abramovay, Executive Director of Open Society–Latin America and the Caribbean.

The fund’s mission is to promote decent working conditions for all, and will address race and gender equity as fundamental and interlinked challenges. According to a recent research by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geographies and Statistics) 37% of all people unemployed in Brazil are black women, while only 16% are white men.

“Race and gender markers underpin inequality in the Brazilian labour market," says Allyne Andrade, Deputy Executive Director of Fundo Brasil. “In Brazil, the right for sick leave, maternity leave and pension, among other welfare benefits, can only be accessed by formal workers. According to the research, three in every four domestic workers are employed informally – and 70% of workers in this sector are black women.”

To address this situation, Labora will provide support to individuals and non-governmental organisations in their efforts to eradicate structural discrimination based on race and gender. This includes advocating for fairer public policies in employment and social security by promoting meaningful civic engagement and adapting labour movements and labour law frameworks to current socioeconomic changes.

Press information:

Mônica Pettinelli - monica.pettinelli@inpresspni.com.br +21 99934-8919

Elaine Gaglianone - elaine.gaglianone@inpresspni.com.br +21 99609-2292

About Fundo Brasil de Direitos Humanos
We are an independent non-profit foundation with a mission to promote respect for human rights in the country, by creating sustainable, innovative and effective mechanisms to strengthen civil society organisations and develop social justice philanthropy. We support projects to defend the human rights of organisations, groups and collectives working in all Brazilian states, simply , selected through open and transparent processes. As well as financial support we also provide training and facilitate dialogue in order to strengthen activities, respecting the specific missions and strategies of each partner or group.

Over the last 15 years, we have supported more than a thousand projects. To find out more visit fundobrasil.org.br.

About Laudes Foundation
Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation joining the growing movement to accelerate the transition to a climate-positive and inclusive global economy. Responding to the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality, Laudes supports brave action that inspires and challenges industry to harness its power for good. Founded by the Brenninkmeijer family business owners, it builds on six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy and works collaboratively alongside a wider network of philanthropic organisations, to both influence finance and capital markets and transform industry with a focus on the built environment and fashion.

For more information visit LaudesFoundation.org

About Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent organisation working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

For more information visit: https://www.fordfoundation.org/

About Open Society Foundations
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant, tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 160 countries around the world, the Open Society Foundations support social justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.

For more information visit: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/