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31 Dez 2016

Ana Aranha & Lali Houghton, Al Jazeera

Brazil: Documentary exposes exploitation of migrant workers in Sao Paulo's garment industry

"Brazil: Slaves To Fashion", 31 Dec 2016

In the heart of Sao Paulo lies a bustling textile sector known as Bras.  Its origins began with the arrival of Jewish migrants in the early 1900s.  Now it is predominantly run by Koreans, though there is a notable presence of Bolivians, both legal and clandestine, some of whom are trapped in conditions akin to modern-day slavery.  The clothes here reach wholesalers all over the country, feeding a massive consumer market, the fifth biggest in the world, at highly competitive prices...In November 2016, Brazilian high street brand M. Officer was fined $2m by the country's Labour Ministry for failing to monitor outsourced workshops in which Bolivians were found working in degrading, slave-like conditions. The company has since begun an appeal against the fine, arguing that the Ministry doesn't have the authority to criminalise the case...This isn't an isolated case.  Brazilian labels Marisa, Pernambucanas, Renner, Les Lis Blanc - and, in 2011, even the international brand Zara - have been fined.  All are substantial labels found to have similar problems in their supply chains.  Their response was virtually the same: they didn't know about or manage outsourcing conditions, though they say they have now improved their monitoring...In order to help Brazilian consumers to buy ethically, Reporter Brasil has developed an app in which more than 100 brands are monitored...[includes film documentary]