[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
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.