Personal profile

Personal Statement

Dr. 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’. 

Francis' research is broadly concerned with the types of labour/migration  regimes and logistical infrastructures that build sustainable development projects in extractive corridors. 

His current work critically interrogates the role military and paramilitary frameworks play in accommodating global chains of value production and distribution in the Brazilian Amazonian region. He is interested in feminist, anti-racist and postcolonial materialist approaches to political economy, supply chain management and employment regulation. 

His research and publications lie primarily in the fields of global commodity chains, labour migration, forced displacement, social reproduction (SRT), slave labour and other forms of unfree labour relations. 

Francis also values public engagement and community participation in research and the decision-making process. He has worked closely with migrants, refugees and indigenous communities in Brazil, supporting them to influence policy and practice via engagement with governmental institutions. 

Academic / Professional qualifications

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. 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Migrant workers
  • Unfree labour
  • refugees and internally displaced communities (IDPs)
  • Critical logistics studies
  • Development corridors
  • Slave labour
  • Political Economy
  • Socio-environmental conflicts


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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