Last official update: December 30, 2020

Human Rights


Quality of Life rights (or ‘economic and social rights’) include the rights to food, health, education, housing, and work. Brazil scores 89.6% on Quality of Life when scored against the ‘Income adjusted’ benchmark. This score takes into account Brazil’s resources and how well it is using them to make sure its people’s Quality of Life rights are fulfilled.

This score tells us that Brazil is only doing 89.6% of what should be possible right now with the resources it has. Since anything less than 100% indicates that a country is not meeting its current duty under international human rights law, our assessment is that Brazil has some way to go to meet its immediate economic and social rights duty.

Source: 2017 – Human Rights Measurement Initiative

Brazil’s Empowerment score of 4.7 suggests that many people are not enjoying their civil liberties and political freedoms (freedom of speech, assembly and association, and democratic rights).

Source: 2019 – Human Rights Measurement Initiative

Brazil’s Safety from the State score of 2.9 suggests that many people are not safe from one or more of the following: arbitrary arrest, torture, disappearance, execution or extrajudicial killing.

Source: 2019 – Human Rights Measurement Initiative



5No guarantee of rights

Ranking countries on the degree of respect for workers’ rights.

Source: 2019 – International Trade Union Confederation



142 /167 – Country Rank

The Prevalence Index Rank ranks countries on the relative prevalance of modern slavery. A higher rank indicates a higher prevalence.

Source: 2018 – Global Slavery Index

The Vulnerability to Modern Slavery (lower is better)

Source: 2018 – Global Slavery Index

Conflict & Security


The Conflict Barometer ranks intra-, inter-, trans- and substate conflicts worldwide based on intesity, including violent as well as non-violent conflicts. The violent conflicts are differentiated between violent crises, limited wars or wars.

Source: 2019 – Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research

Conflict & Security


Low state of peace
126 /163 – Country Rank

The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures more than just the presence or absence of war. It captures the absence of violence or the fear of violence across three domains: Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict, and Militarisation.

Source: 2020 – The Institute for Economics & Peace

Human Rights

Freedom House

75 /100
Free – Status

Freedom House rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties.

Source: 2020 – Freedom House

Human Rights


73 /120 – Score
75th /178 – Country Rank

The Human Rights and Rule of Law Indicator by the FSI considers the relationship between the state and its population insofar as fundamental human rights are protected and freedoms are observed and respected.

Source: 2020 – Fragile State Index



Control of corruption captures perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain, including both petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as “capture” of the state by elites and private interests. Score indicates percentile rank of country among all countries in the world.

Source: 2019 – The WorldBank's Worldwide Governance Indicator

Regulatory quality captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. Score indicates percentile rank of country among all countries in the world.

Source: 2019 – The WorldBank's Worldwide Governance Indicator

Rule of law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the
quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. Score indicates percentile rank of country among all countries in the world.

Source: – The WorldBank's Worldwide Governance Indicator


Transparency International

35 /100 – Score
106 /198 – Country Rank

The Corruption Perceptions Index scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives. It is a composite index, a combination of 13 surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.

Source: 2019 – Transparency International

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Brazil Sector Reports

Brazil timber sector analysis (2020)

Go to sector analysis.

Areas of Interest

Brazil has a CPI score of 35 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) which means that there is a high risk of corruption. Business culture is much about personal relations and status, less on legal compliance and taking responsibility. The problem is deeply rooted, especially at the state and municipal level. Companies giving gifts or contributions may benefit from, for example, fewer labour inspections by government officials.

In 2018, 1800 cases of workers in poor conditions (‘slavish’; forced labour or under degrading conditions) were reported in Brazil. Timber from Brazil is included in the list of goods produced using forced labour by the US Dept. of Labor (2018), but is not listed in relation to child labour.

The US Department of State’ 2020 trafficking in person’s report classifies Brazil as a Tier 2 country, which means that the country’s government does not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but that they are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with these standards. Trafficking is not mentioned in relation to the timber sector in Brazil.

Discrimination in the work sphere happens on the basis of race (Afro-Brazilian, indigenous people), gender (women, transgender, intersex), sexuality (lesbian, gay, bisexual), ability and health status (disability, HIV/AIDS positive). Further, LGBT and intersex people suffer from discrimination and violence, fuelled by the government.

Violence against journalists is among the significant human rights issues reported.

Significant human rights issues reported for Brazil in 2019 included crimes involving (threats of) violence targeting members of racial minorities, human rights activists, indigenous peoples and other traditional populations, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) persons. Unlawful or arbitrary killings by state police, with impunity and a lack of accountability for security forces, were also listed as a problem.

2017 major labour law reform resulted in a.o. more flexible working hours, shorter lunch breaks. Thousands of opponents have protested against the reform they viewed as diminishing workers’ protection.

The ITUC (2020) includes Brazil in the list of the 10 worst countries to work in with respect to trade union rights. With a score of 5 on the ITUC Global Rights Index (scale 1-5), there is no guarantee of rights regarding freedom of association and worker’s rights. Several trade union leaders have been murdered in 2019, strikes were brutally repressed and there were threats and intimidation of people involved in trade unions and demonstrations. Similarly, in 2018 murder and excessive violence by police towards human right defenders and peaceful protesters have been reported.

In Brazil, a living wage has been established in July 2019 to consist of 424 USD/month for a rural family of 4 and 1.71 workers in Minas Gerais.

Unlawful or arbitrary killings by state police, with impunity and a lack of accountability for security forces, were reported as a problem. Victims were mostly young black males from favelas and marginalised areas. The use of highly militarised police interventions was mainly motivated by the “war on drugs”. Police abuse undermines public security.

Sexual harassment and (domestic) violence towards women is a problem in Brazil. Women receive less than two-thirds (62%) than men for the same work.

The Global Wage Report 2018/19 by the ILO indicates that in Brazil women earn 22-27% (median-mean) less than men per hour, taking into consideration factors of education, age, working-time status (part-time or full-time) and type of employer (private-sector vs. public-sector employment). Looking at monthly earnings, the factor-weighted gender pay gap is slightly higher with women receiving 25-27% (median-mean) less pay than men.