During our stay in Dhaka, our delegation had scheduled one day for each of the two partners we have there, one workers union of the garment industry (NGWF) and one in health (GK).  This post is about that first day, with the National Garment Workers Federation and the garment industry.

Working conditions are deplorable, and ays are minimal, so that Bangladesh can attract companies to produce clothing there. Check your sweater, bet you it’ll say it was amde in Bangaldesh. Accidents have been frequents and the death toll has been immense. First gruesome stop for our visit: the Tazreen factory, where over a hundred people died in a fire on the 24th of November 2012.

Through the workers union, we also had the opportunity to visit two functioning garment factories in Dhaka.


Industrial police, present in every factory.

Below the small video I made, which gives an idea of what we witnessed. Of course, management knew we were coming, so one can wonder to which extent is it representative of the working conditions?

We closed off the day with a touching meeting with victims of Rana Plaza. NGWF had gathered around 80 victims, direct (were injured in the building when it collapsed), or indirect (orphaned children). Very touching, and Jef tried to empahsize the importance of going from victim to actor now, to demand change and compensation.