São Paulo is the fashion capital of Brazil, but is also home to a growing number of slaves ©123RF
São Paulo is the fashion capital of Brazil, but is also home to a growing number of slaves ©123RF

Slavery rife in Brazil’s cities

4 August 2016

Despite efforts to stamp out slavery, there is a growing number of labourers working in slavery conditions in Brazil, particularly in the cities, according to the latest figures from the Walk Free Foundation

The scenario could not be less glamorous: in a shabby house on the outskirts of São Paulo, the fashion capital of Brazil, five Bolivian immigrants worked at least 12 hours a day sewing items for Brooksfield Donna, a luxury women’s brand more famous for glitzy adverts with supermodels. A special investigation by Brazil’s labour ministry, which raided the place last May, found that the Bolivians were exploited by the contractors supplying their labour, and were pretty much confined to a house full of fire hazards - and without an extinguisher in sight.

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