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Leonardo Sakamoto

Brazil , Class of 2017

Leonardo Sakamoto

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Leonardo Sakamoto is a Brazilian journalist with an unwavering commitment to the protection of fundamental freedoms in Brazil. In 2001, he established Repórter Brasil, an NGO dedicated to monitoring and combating forced labor in Brazil. Repórter Brasil’s pioneering investigative journalism has helped leaders in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil society, use research and educational programs as tools to combat human trafficking, especially forced labor.

Repórter Brasil runsEscravo, Nem Pensar!, the first educational program operating at the national level to help raise awareness about and prevent forced labor in Brazil by providing technical and financial support for vulnerable communities. Under Mr. Sakamoto’s leadership, the program has already reached more than 140 municipalities in eight Brazilian states, benefiting more than 200,000 people.

With Mr. Sakamoto at the helm, Repórter Brasil was also an active participant in the creation of the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, an agreement that brings together 400 companies committed to combating forced labor. His devotion to the issue is exemplified by his role in the production of the Lista Suja, or the dirty list, a public list of individuals and private companies found to be using forced labor in their supply chains, which has mobilized the Brazilian government to increase its efforts to prevent forced labor in supply chains.

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