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tv   France 24 Mid- Day News  LINKTV  May 13, 2022 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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host: welcome to "global 3000." exploited -- how economic interests are pursued at the expense of the world's poor. in indonesia, big business is creating new markets. in brazil, we learn how the residents of favelas are now able to enjoy online shopping. and we find out what it's really like to work as a berry picker in portugal's greenhouses. ♪
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$1.90 -- according to the world bank, that's the minimum required to cover a person's basic needs per day. around 10% of the global population lives on less -- in extreme poverty. poverty and unemployment are major reasons why people leave their homes and look for work elsewhere in the world -- as domestic workers, carers, on construction sites, or in farming. the number of international migrant workers has risen to 169 million worldwide. they make up almost 5% of the global working population. that means they are a key component of the world economy. yet many of them work in temporary, informal or unprotected jobs, often under dreadful conditions and for low wages. in portugal, for example... ♪ reporter: people come from nepal, india, bangladesh, and thailand to pick fruit in southern portugal for european supermarket chains. this is archive footage.
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the agricultural firms no longer want reporters. the farming association stonewalled us and local authorities also closed their doors. they have a problem and it involves the foreign workers. thousands of them live around the small town of sao teotonio, helping with the harvest. >> it's totally over the top. they're in the majority now. >> at times, you get just three portuguese people walking by here for every 20 migrants. reporter: for better or for worse, the way they came was definitely not well organized, with no thought being given to local infrastructure. so what makes portugal so attractive? gian pal dhether from northern india has worked here for several years. he says portugal is a prime
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destination for many indians. gian: maybe right now is the first choice for the northern side of india. because south side people, they mostly want to go in the gulf country. and northern side people want to go in canada and europe, and when they will come to europe, they first come here to portugal to get residency. because here maybe a year, one and a half year, they will get it. reporter: portugal appears to be an express route into the european union. word got round, and this region is now also attracting migrants who previously tried their luck in denmark or germany. like ravi bains, a barber from india. ravi: i had better life in germany. but i had just only problem because i have no permission for working in germany because i was there as refugee, and my case was over and these people say, “you can't stay, you have
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to move to another country.” reporter: but portugal's apparent open door comes at a price. many migrants pay thousands of euros to get here but only earn between 600 and a thousand euros a month at most. they work six days a week and always have to worry they might not be paid, especially if they were hired by a recruitment agency. gian: if they work 100 hours, 200 hours monthly, sometimes they cut 10 hours, 15 hours. they say, “ok, you have a mistake, you not pay 200 hours, you've worked 180 hours.” and sometimes they cut money for insurance and a lot of things they cut. they not pay well. reporter: because the migrants need to send money home to their families, they have to save wherever possible, especially on accommodation. gian pal dhether shares a place with other workers away from the fields. he doesn't have his own room. gian:
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here for us is good because we never live in the company house. but in the company house not good. reporter: they have zero privacy but the conditions aren't too bad. unlike the company acmmodation. we visited a house in são teotonio that was full of beds. lots of workers have to squeeze in together to share the exorbitant rent. >> we pay a thousand euros a month for this. altogether, that is. last month there were ten of us here, so we were able to pool our money to get the thousand euros. reporter: there's a shortage of housing for migrant workers here. gian pal dhether says it's not new and has been a problem for years. gian: since these four, five years, i've never seen them building new houses. now i've just seen one new building here in almograve.
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they're making a new building. but in this area it's very difficult to find a house. reporter: the government in lisbon has finally decided to tackle the problem. new housing is to be built near the fields where the migrants work. it sounds like a solution. but local politician fátima teixeira is outraged. fátima: so they're supposed to live amongst the greenhouses, far away from the towns and villages. far away from anyone that could help them if they fall victim to exploitation. and putting them out there is like ostracizing them. reporter: she says not only people who are being exploited, the environment is suffering too. because the number of greenhouses is rising, even though são teotonio is in a conservation area. a 2017 study warned of dire consequences. fátima:
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and despite that study, the government gave its approval in 2019 for the area covered by the polytunnels, these greenhouses, to be tripled in size. reporter: the area along the coastline is supposed to be a protected zone, stretching 500 meters inland. but this rule doesn't apply to the greenhouses. the impact of their unhindered growth can be seen at this reservoir which supplies the farms. for a decade its water level has been steadily dropping. the effects of the greenhouse boom are also being felt at the school in são teotonio. the entrance area shows the countries represented here. of the 850 students, 120 come from abroad. social worker tania santos is here to support them. tania: we have some problems but they're the same ones you'll see at any elementary or high
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school. the children of the migrant families don't cause any trouble, they're not aggressive or difficult while at school or elsewhere. reporter: they're given extra help and separate portuguese lessons. but in most cases, the families aren't planning to stay here and the children know it. tania: that means the students are not really focused on their classes. because they know they won't need portuguese in the future. reporter: after one or two years, most of the migrants from asia move on in the hope of finding a better job elsewhere. but some do end up returning to portugal, if their european dream fails to materialize. ♪ host: and now we leave portugal and head to indonesia.
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to meet people who live, quite literally amongst the trash. most of it comes from everyday products which they use themselves. with many markets in industrial nations now reaching saturation point, big companies are increasingly aiming their products at those with little income. the profits are sky-high and the environmental damage considerable. ♪ reporter: imam khanafi does his rounds in this indonesian suburb. he's a trash collector. a lot of sachets land in his cart. the small plastic packages are ubiquitous in southeast asia. imam: i find more kitchen waste in housing estates, but in the villages, more sachets are thrown away. reporter: the single-use packages are part and parcel of imam khanifi's own lifestyle. he lives in a small house in tangeran selatang, together
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with his older sister and his niece. laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste -- all supplied in single portion plastic packs. even the spices for their food come in sachets. darsiah: if there is no sachet product, i don't know what to do. the sachet is very cheap, the amount is just enough for one meal. if i could buy a big pack, i would buy laundry soap, bath soap, dish soap, sugar, and coffee. but unfortunately, i only have a little money, and if i buy a big package, i'm afraid i can't buy other necessities. the important thing for me, the price of the sachet is cheap and i can cook every day. reporter: and pay the rent. as household help, she makes
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some 50 euros a month. her brother earns between 60 and 120 euros, though their income does vary. even together, it doesn't stretch to a middle class income. that's why they prefer to buy single sachets. it gives them flexibility. but over the long term, it's an expensive way of managing their household. a large bottle of shampoo or laundry soap would be 20% cheaper than the same amount in sachets. but sachets are the main range in local stores. suryadi: many people need these sachets, so we get a lot of customers. they are more in demand because they are easier to use. customers spend 1000 or 2000 rupiahs, it's very cheap. reporter: they're so cheap that even down at the riverside, sachets are
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used for doing the laundry. the way it always was. suharti: sometimes i only spend one sachet, sometimes two. because sometimes i have a lot of laundry. sometimes i use two sachets a day. with 2000 rupiahs, i can get four sachets. i can use four sachets of laundry soap for two days. reporter: that's roughly 12 euro cents. it's a huge environmental problem. empty plastic sachets are all over, and they're non-recyclable. environmentalist tiza mafira thinks it's monstrous that these packages are still being manufactured. she's fighting for a plastic-free world. tiza: every single region in indonesia will have a traditional market. and they used to sell daily
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items in bulk. we would go there with our own containers. we'd get a few kilos of rice, maybe a few eggs. bringing our own baskets, none of them were packaged. and that went on fine. the same goes for soap. we could buy soap bars. there was no problem. we did not have to buy liquid soap in sachets. reporter: about 50% of global sachet production is based in southeast asia. and the region is where most of them are sold -- a lucrative business. tiza: a lot of the brands whose names are on the sachet products are brands of multinational, fast moving consumer goods whose companies are all around the world. and they have originated in developed countries. they originated in europe, in the united states.
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we are very familiar with these brands. the irony is that in the u.s. or the u.k., you wont see sachets. you will see these brands sell products in bottles that are recyclable, but not sachets. the only place where they market sachets is in the developing countries, ironically in a place where there is so little capacity to recycle those sachets. reporter: unilever is one of the top brands here, especially when it comes to shampoo and laundry soap. the company declined an interview. but it did write to say that it's working on producing sachets made of only one material in future rather than several materials, which makes them impossible to recycle. but the company won't comment on profits and inequality in sachet sales. nothing's likely to change in the short term for imam and darsiah khanafi. they have to decide on a day to day basis exactly what the family needs. imam: i use sachets because they're
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cheap. the amount is just right and they're easy to use. reporter: and once again, he takes off on his rounds. the companies who produce the sachets know they can count on their indonesian customer base. ♪ host: sachets. so practical, but a nightmare for the environment. in our web special, we chart the journey of such a sachet from the origins of the raw materials it's made from to its trashy fate. we find out why the number of sachets is growing and why they're so lucrative for businesses, and so disastrous for our planet. find out more at dw.com/plastic.
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♪ brazil is another country with high levels of verty. its favelas are home to around 13 million people. these often sprawling districts are marred by regular bouts of violence, which is one reason why those living there are frequently cut off from basic services. but this is changing, like in sao paulo. ♪ reporter: in the heart of the brazilian metropolis of são paulo lies a mega favela: paraisópolis. the van of a large online retailer drives into the impoverished neighborhood. not long ago, this would have been very unusual. it was too confusing and too dangerous here. in a country where robberies are commonplace, it's natural that most companies were wary.
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so millions of favela residents across brazil were largely excluded from online shopping. many found it frustrating, like givanildo pereira, who grew up in paraisópolis. givanildo: one time when i wanted to buy something online, i had to enter the address of someone i knew outside the favela. and another time, when i entered an address within the favela, with a zip code for paraisópolis, it suddenly said that the product was out of stock, it was no longer available. that made me very sad. reporter: but he refused to just accept it. with help from a local ngo, pereira founded a start-up called “favela brasil xpress,” a parcel service especially for poorer neighborhoods. online retailers deliver to a
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designated spot on the outskirts of the favela, and his local team takes over from there. it's been a resounding success -- an average of 800 parcels now arrive here every day, including kitchen appliances and electronics. they have a total value of around 80,000 euros. even pereira is surprised by the demand. at first it was hard to trading partners. givanildo: the biggest challenge is overcoming the prejudices of the companies so that they're willing to enter this market. if they don't change their perspective, they'll miss a great opportunity here. reporter: paraisópolis is like a city within a city -- 100,000 residents live in this labyrinthine complex of houses. many of them were built without a permit or an official address. the local delivery workers come from the favela itself. their knowledge of the area is key to the success of the service. the company uses its own app that displays the delivery
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addresses and a suitable vehicle is selected depending on the route. people who live here can't afford the rent in a middle-class neighborhood, but that doesn't mean they want to go without household appliances or a cellphone. as the demand for online services grew during the pandemic, so did the delivery problem. but favela brasil xpress is changing all that. >> your delivery from americanas... alecs: everyone here is grateful because we can shop without leaving the house. reporter: courier jonathan pereira is also a resident. not only does he know his way around t winding alleyways, he's also not afraid of getting mugged here. having a job right on the
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doorstep is not common in the favela. and what's more, he has an employer that offers real prospects for staff. the company's largest trading partner has donated delivery vehicles, and provided advanced training in logistics. jonathan: it gives you the opportunity to evolve, learn more, and maybe even start your own delivery service one day. it's great. reporter: the ngo g10 favelas provided the necessary seed money to get the service up and running. the start-up has an office in the favela. representatives of brazil's largest online retail chains are now even prepared to come here in person to do business with the start-up. they pay a fee to the delivery service. it's lucrative for both parties -- in the first six months, pereira's company delivered more than 100,000 parcels, worth the equivalent of 6 million euros. the budding entrepreneur is
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continuing to expand, looking to serve favelas right across the country. givanildo: when we manage to attract a big company to the favela, to a market with great economic power, we can use the money to develop the favela and change lives by creating paid jobs. and to overcome that barrier of prejudice. reporter: the 21-year-old now provides work for more than 90 young people in several favelas. givanildo: what's the issue here? >> this order is still open. we had trouble finding the recipient and the neighbors didn't know them. it could have been a technical problem. we'll contact the addressee to see if they remember making the purchase. reporter: the young boss encourages his team to be proactive. he comes from a socially disadvantaged background himself and wants to give others a chance. givanildo: my family and i came to
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paraisópolis when i was 12. we lived in a shack, in an extremely poor area. it was difficult. i couldn't just live with it. that's what awakened my desire to make a difference, to transform people's reality. reporter: businesses inside the favela also benefit from the service, because parcels can be sent out too. there are thousands of businesses in paraisópolis alone. the neighboring sewing shop can deliver its goods faster and cheaper than before thanks to the service, and that also increases sales. which brings more money into the favela and boosts the local economy. suéli: before, we'd have to take our orders to the post office 4 kilometers away from our shop. today things are much more convenient. online sales have increased because we can meet deadlines. when people place an order, they want to receive it
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quickly, and now we can meet their expectations. so we've really profited, it's made our work much easier. reporter: pereira's favela couriers now deliver all over the country, and he's even had invitations from abroad to present his successful concept. he says this is about much more than parcels. givanildo: i didn't think i'd get this far. it's built into our subconscious that we live in a favela and don't have many opportunities. so i thought it was a distant drm. my main mission here is to inspire other young people to do great things, and above all to change the world in which they live. and from there to create a network so that we can continue to transform the favelas of brazil. reporter: givanildo pereira is paving the way for the approximately 13
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million favela residents in brazil to be more integrated in business and society, helping to break down prejudice and offering a much-needed service. ♪ host: what do our global teams have to say about poverty? >> some people aren't born with money like others are. they have to figure out where they can get money from. many have to go abroad because they can't find work where they live. ♪ >> poverty is all over in most places and it really affects. when there's poverty iour home, children are most likely not to be able to go to school, they don't get the basic things they want and they cannot dress
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well, they cannot heat well, so it's so sad. ♪ >> there's a shortage of money everywhere. lots of people are homeless. they can't make ends meet and their children suffer. ♪ >> the big, bigger problems in the world are being without money, no friends and parents. ♪ >> the biggest global problems are social inequality and the lack of equal opportunities for all. ♪ >> internet tells me that hunger is the biggest global problem, and i think it is. we can see kids starving and then we waste food. that does not make sense, does it? ♪ host: that's all from us this
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time on “global 3000.” send us your thoughts on the program, and visit us on facebook too -- dw global ideas. see you soon! take care! [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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