Leading fashion brands including Barbour and PVH, which owns Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, have said they will pay £400,000 to garment workers in Mauritius after an investigation found that migrant workers were forced to pay thousands of pounds for their jobs. Transparentem, a US-based organisation that investigates workers’ rights, looked into conditions at five factories in Mauritius and interviewed 83 workers in 2022 and 2023. In a recently published report, Transparentem claims it found multiple signs of forced labour, defined as a form of modern slavery by the United Nation’s International Labour Organization. As well as workers paying illegal recruitment fees for their jobs, it alleges they were subjected to deception, intimidation and unsanitary living conditions – including having no access to clean drinking water, as well as cockroach and bedbug infestations. The five factories supply brands including Boden, Asos and the Foschini Group, which owns Whistles and Hobbs.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN