[QODLink]
Slavery: A 21st Century Evil
Charcoal slaves
Poverty-stricken men from the north of Brazil are often lured to remote camps where they are used as slave labour.
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2012 08:06

Brazil, once the world's largest importer of slaves from Africa, has taken the lead in fighting 21st century slavery with a raft of innovative laws aimed at stamping it out.

However, slave labour continues to thrive in the South American country - especially in the age-old practice of charcoal burning. The dirty and dangerous business is relied on by many international companies as one of the early stages in the manufacturing of pig iron.

Brazilian pig iron is shipped to some of the world's biggest companies, including household name car manufacturers - who use it to forge steel.

But the charcoal burning stage is sometimes done by forced labourers, including men from the poverty-stricken north of Brazil who are lured with false promises to remote camps.

They are forced into working and living in appalling conditions, and often tricked into amassing massive debts that are impossible to meet in order to pay for their accommodation and even work equipment.

 


Click here for more on the series.



Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Friends of Steven Sotloff, allegedly the second journalist shown in Islamic State beheading video, call for his release.
Cut off from bulk of Tunisia's economic development, residents of rural towns are creating their own opportunities.
Craft breweries see rising sales, challenging large corporations for a bigger taste of Mexico's $20bn beer market.
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Students kept from using screen-based technology for five days showed improvement in recognizing emotion, US study says.
join our mailing list