Factory workers fight to be called slaves

Factory workers fight to be called slaves
The Blangladeshis work in textiles factories near Naples. Photo: Deutsche Fotothek/Wikicommons
Hundreds of Bangladeshis working in textiles factories in Sant'Antimo, near Naples, are fighting to be recognized as slaves in an effort to escape their employer after it was revealed they toil for long hours for a monthly salary of less than €250.

The immigrants, many illegal, also claim their employers seized their passports and force them to work up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, RAI News reported.

Represented by the February 3 Association, an Italian immigrants rights association, they have now started a petition to be officially recognized as slaves.

The association said in a statement that it will report their Italian and Bangladeshi employers for “slavery” and ask that “all the signatories to the petition be granted residency permits on humanitarian grounds.”

The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines slavery as “any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form punishment”.

The ILO estimates that there are at least 20.9 million people in forced labour worldwide.

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