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Personal profile

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 researcher 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 Brazil. 

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. 

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 5 - Gender Equality
  • 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


  • Socio-environmental conflicts
  • Unfree labour
  • refugees and internally displaced communities (IDPs)
  • migrant workers
  • Development corridors
  • Slave labour
  • Developing Countries


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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