A Look At The Extent Of Bonded Labor In India’s Silk Industry

by Business Watch Team

CNN International is to broadcast a new documentary highlighting one of the largest forms of modern-day slavery in the form of bonded labor.

Produced by The CNN Freedom Project in collaboration with Kulczyk Foundation, Silk Slaves explores how as many as 8 million people around the world are ensnared by bonded labor and what the practice entails within the country’s booming silk industry.

Airing on Saturday 13th March in the lead-up to the network’s #MyFreedomDay initiative, the half-hour documentary travels to Karnataka, India, to accompany entrepreneur and philanthropist Dominika Kulczyk. Reporting from the town of Sidlaghatta, Kulczyk meets with representatives from Jeevika, an organization working to identify bonded laborers and help them to file applications for their release and rehabilitation.

Bonded labor often involves laborers being forced to work in terrible conditions to pay off a debt. Silk Slaves follows the story of mother and daughter Hadia and Naseeba, hearing their accounts of twelve-hour working days in factories in extreme conditions, the fear of the person they are indebted to, and witnessing how they attempt to navigate the legal route to freedom.

The CNN Freedom Project examines further details of what takes place in silk factories and why bonded labor persists in a country where the average silk worker makes less than $3 per day.

Silk Slaves and Kulczyk also travel to a village where former bonded women currently reside. The documentary hears the challenges that come with regaining their freedom but also how the victims of bonded labor have united to support each other in the region.

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