Alex Majoli | Modern Slavery

Country of origin: Italy
Project location: Brazil
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2011

Slavery is alive and a big business in Brazil. According to the country’s ministry of labor, 3,500 “slaves” were collectively freed from 556 businesses nationwide last year. In Marabá, a city that has a large number of factories that produce steel for the US market, Majoli is covering a story on laborers who are paid two dollars a day to make coal. Majoli reports that the factories need charcoal to operate and most of the wood used to make charcoal comes from illegal timber, stolen from farms surrounding the area. Majoli notes that the laborers are mistreated and that many had been subject to violence.