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
Research Excellence Award - PhD Studentship
ERASMUS MUNDUS - Studentship

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. 



Unfree labour on the Amazonian frontier : the problems and politics of post rescue solidarity
Virginio Francis, Garvey Brian, Leão Luis, Pistório Bianca
EADI ISS Conference 2021: Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice
The authoritarian turn, humanitarian migration and super-exploitation in Brazil
Virginio Francis, Stewart Paul, Garvey Brian
European Sociology Conference - Barcelona (2021)
Covid-19 e a etapa das carpas : como a experiência dos venezuelanos em Roraima nos informa sobre o aprofundamento do neoliberalismo autoritário no Brasil
Stefano Daniela, Virginio Francis, Garvey Brian
Direitos Humanos no Brasil 2020 Relatório da Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos (2020) (2020)
A perfeita tempestade de precariedade : os novos imigrantes e a exploração do trabalho
Virginio Francis, Garvey Brian
Direitos Humanos No Brasil 2019 Relatório da Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos (2019) (2019)
The mythical shapeshifting of capital and petrification of labour : deepening conflict on the agrofuel frontier
Garvey Brian, Souza Edevaldo Aparecido, Rodrigues Mendonça Marcelo, dos Santos Crispim Valmir, Portes Virginio Francis Vinicius
Antipode Vol 51, pp. 1185-1209 (2019)
The perforated borders of labour migration and the formal state : meta-state and para-state regulation
Virginio Francis Vinicius Portes, Garvey Brian, Stewart Paul
Employee Relations Vol 39, pp. 391-407 (2017)

More publications

Professional activities

Precarious work, Precarious life: Unemployment and work in the context of neoliberalism (Training on Participatory Research Methods)
FAO Food Summit Independent Dialogue: Defence of agrifood systems
Member of programme committee
Public Hearings with migrant representatives
Public Hearings with migrant representatives
Seminar about the rights of children and adolescents for migrant organisations
Trainning For Multipliers

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
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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