Brazil’s Labor Ministry inspectors freed 212 workers held in “slavery” conditions on farms in the country on Friday.

The inhumane conditions under which these land workers were employed came to light thanks to inspections carried out on farms in the states of Minas Gerais (southeast) and Goias (central west), the Labor Ministry said in a statement.

The announcement emphasizes that, after yesterday’s intervention, there are 890 workers who were held in inhumane conditions and were released this year.

According to the same source, the employers did not provide food to the workers, forced them to pay for the tools they used and for their accommodation in unsanitary premises. At the same time, they were left exposed to toxic products, since they were not given protective equipment.

Federal police have launched an investigation into the case.

In Brazil, cases of modern slavery are usually found in agricultural activities, such as sugar cane and coffee plantations, but have also been reported in urban centers. The majority of the victims come from deprived areas in the north-eastern part of the country.

Last year, Brazil’s labor ministry announced the release of 2,075 modern-day slaves, the most since 2013 – when 2,808 were recorded.