Article 243


flag Brazil

Economic sanctions

Article 243, as amended by constitutional Amendment No 81, of June 5, 2014 establishes that rural and urban properties in any region of the country where illegal crops of psychotropic plants or the exploitation of slave labor are found must be expropriated and devoted to agrarian reform and public housing programs, without compensation to the owner and without prejudice to other penalties provided by law.


After intermittent debates over almost 20 years, on June 5th, 2014 the Brazilian Congress promulgated Constitutional Amendment No. 81. Under the amended constitutional text, urban or rural real estate in which slave labour is found to have occurred shall be expropriated without compensation. The proceeds of auctioned land, property, or any goods employed in the irregular economic enterprise will be used to foster urban or agrarian reform, or to support the prevention and repression of slave labour.

Link to full text


Article 243. Rural and urban property anywhere in the country where psychotropics have been cultivated or where slave labour was exploited, as described by law, will be expropriated and destined to agrarian reform and popular housing projects, without any compensation to the owner and without prejudice of other lawful sanctions.

Constitutional / 5 October 1988 / Brazil / Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil

The Brazilian Constitution states that human dignity (article 1(III) and the social function of labour (article 1(IV)) are two of the fundamental principles of the Federal Republic of Brazil.

Fundamental rights listed include the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment (article 5). The constitution also dictates that the economic order must be founded on the social value of labour in order to ensure social justice (art. 170). The constitutional rules relating to human slave labour have immediate application, regardless of subsequent regulations.