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4 Jun 2015

Fabiana Frayssinet, Inter Press Service

Argentina: Death of 2 boys & sexual abuse of woman raise concerns about Bolivian immigrants living & working conditions in sweatshops

"Garment Sweatshops in Argentina an Open Secret", 30 May 2015

The death of two Bolivian boys in a fire and the mistreatment and sexual abuse of a young Bolivian woman put the problem of slave-like labour conditions in clandestine sweatshops back in the headlines in Argentina...According to the Alameda Foundation, there are some 3,000 sweatshops in and around Buenos Aires alone, with an average of 10 employees each. The majority of the roughly 30,000 workers are from Bolivia, South America’s poorest country. But there are also Peruvians, as well as workers from other Argentine provinces...In Argentina, a country of 41 million people, including 1.8 million foreign nationals, the law on immigration guarantees the right to work, education and healthcare for South American immigrants. But many of these modern-day slaves are undocumented...The Alameda Foundation proposes alternatives like textile cooperatives in workshops that have been confiscated or recovered by the workers.They are also calling for an obligatory label to guarantee to consumers that what they’re buying was not made in a sweatshop, with slave labour...