Brazil house passes slave labor amendment - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Brazil house passes slave labor amendment

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -

Brazil's lower house has approved a constitutional amendment that strengthens punishments for landowners and others who force people into slave-like working conditions.

The government reports there are approximately 20,000 Brazilians stuck in debt slavery. The practice is most common on remote farms but also occurs in urban sweatshops.

The amendment passed Tuesday allows the government to confiscate without compensation all the property of anyone found to be using slave labor.

The measure already passed Brazil's Senate, but that body still must approve an amendment that defines exactly what is considered slave labor before the constitutional change can take effect.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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