Dr Francis Vinicius Portes Virginio

Research Associate

Work, Employment and Organisation

Personal statement

Francis Portes Virginio is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on his project ‘the Securitisation of Nature, Displacement and Unfree Labour in Brazil`s Amazon’ (2021-2024). 

Prior to this position, Francis was a postdoctoral research associate in a participatory project funded by ESRC (2018-2021). His work examined the formation of southern corridors of migration in the Brazilian Amazonian region and the incorporation of migrant workers in need of Humanitarian protection into industries that are part of ‘sustainable development’ agendas.

Francis has research interests in the areas of political economy, global commodity chains, forced displacement, labour migration, slave labour and socio-environmental conflicts with a particular focus in Latin America. 

He also values public engagement and community participation in research and decision-making process. He has worked closely with migrants, refugees and indigenous communities in Latin America, mediating conflict with governmental and non-governmental institutions. 

Prizes and awards

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship
Santander Mobility Fund
Research Excellence Award - PhD Studentship
ERASMUS MUNDUS -European Commission Research Award

More prizes and awards


Francis holds a Ph.D. in Work, Employment and Organisation from the University of Strathclyde, a Double Master’s degree in Migration Studies and Conflict Mediation from KU Leuven (Belgium), and the University of Lille (France), and a BA in Psychology from the State University of São Paulo (Brazil). 

Regional Expertise: Latin America

Country Expertise: Brazil 

Languages: Portuguese (Native Speaker), English, French and Spanish. 



Contemporary slave labour on the Amazonian frontier : the problems and politics of post rescue solidarity
Portes Virginio Francis, Garvey Brian, Leão Luís Henrique da Costa, Pistorio Bianca Vasquez
Globalizations Vol 19, pp. 937-954 (2022)
Unfree labour and Militarised infrastructures : the experiences of displaced communities in the Brazilian Amazonian region
Portes Virginio Francis
Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) Annual Conference 2022 (2022)
Unpacking super-exploitation in the 21st century : the struggles of Haitian workers in Brazil
Virginio Francis, Stewart Paul, Garvey Brian
Work, Employment and Society (2022)
Informalidade e Proteção dos Trabalhadores Imigrantes : Navegando pelo Humanitarismo, Securitização e Dignidade
Virginio Francis, I-miGRa
Caminhantes da Terra
Rojas Pinango Rosbelli Margarita, Stefano Daniela, Portes Virginio Francis
Amazonia em fluxo : território, tensões e trabalho
Stefano Daniela, Garvey Brian, Virginio Francis, Lepri Larissa, Virginio Francis, Garvey Brian

More publications

Professional activities

Forced displacement and Slave Labour in Brazil's Amazon
Free land camp: defending the rights of indigenous peoples 
Precarious work, Precarious life: Unemployment and work in the context of neoliberalism
FAO Food Summit Independent Dialogue: Defence of agrifood systems
Member of programme committee
Public Hearings with migrant representatives
Public Hearings with migrant representatives

More professional activities


Securitisation of Nature, Displacement and Unfree labour in Brazil's Amazon
Portes Virginio, Francis Vinicius (Principal Investigator)
Leverhulme Early Career fellowship (ECF)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2024
UKRI CoA Covid Extension
Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Portes Virginio, Francis Vinicius (Researcher) Cardesa-Salzmann, Antonio (Researcher)
UKRI sponsored extension of projects affected by Covid-19
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
UKRI CoA Covid extension
Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Portes Virginio, Francis Vinicius (Researcher)
UKRI sponsored extension of projects affected by Covid-19
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Agrochemical use in new agricultural commodity and bioenergy production,
Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Portes Virginio, Francis Vinicius (Principal Investigator)
Engagement in Scotland and Berlin regarding hazardous toxin use and trade between EU and Brazil towards reduction in health implications. With UNESP-Presidente Prudente; Angeliki Lysimachou, Director of Pesticide Action Network EuropePAN-Europe; Angelika Hilbeck Department of Environmental Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) Chair of European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility; Brian Wynne, Professor Lancaster Environment Centre
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
So who is building sustainable development? Transforming exploitative labour along southern corridors of migration (ESRC Global Challenges)
Portes Virginio, Francis Vinicius (Researcher) Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Stewart, Paul (Co-investigator) Alves, José (Co-investigator)
The participatory research aims to investigate and transform the increasingly widespread link between the concentration of migrants in need of humanitarian protection along migration corridors in the Brazilian Amazonia region; the requirement of large and flexible workforces for large infrastructure projects including construction and agribusiness; exploitative labour conditions in these industries that that are part of ‘sustainable development’ agendas. The project engages workers from Brazil, Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Senegal and various other African states in order to:
document the influence of formal and informal agents on the migrant workers' journey and employment
identify deficits in dignified work and social protection
Collectively propose transformative solutions via a range of media;
facilitate direct social dialogue between migrant workers, project partners and government, industrial, labour and non-profit agencies,at state, regional and national level
03-Jan-2018 - 26-Jan-2021

More projects


Work, Employment and Organisation
Duncan Wing

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