Authorities from the Brazilian Ministry of Labor rescued five Bolivian nationals from conditions of forced labor at a textile factory supplying a major women’s luxury brand in Sao Paulo. Reports indicate that a 14-year-old girl was among the victims. Authorities indicated the factory was in flagrant violation of Brazilian labor codes, and that the workers had not received a proper wage nor any vacation days at the time of the rescue. The parent firm of the textile factory involved denied any wrongdoing.
Brazil suffers from an Elevated BSI threat rating for overall human rights conditions, and instances of forced labor within textile companies occur regularly in the country. In 2015, 936 people were rescued from slave work, though reports estimate that there are still 161,100 people employed in similar conditions, mostly in rural Brazil.