Storytelling / portraits

Textile workers

The hidden sweat shops in Bangladesh

The hidden sweat shops in Bangladesh
The last few years international clothing brands have invested in safety and better working conditions for textile workers in Bangladesh. But these improvements have not been made for all of them. In Keraniganj over 200.000 people work and live in small rooms: in the daytime the small rooms are full of the noise of sewing machines, in the night the bundles of fabric serve as a matrass. They work under harsh conditions, for low wages and child labor is still present.


Mondiaal FNV asked us to show the harsh circumstances of the informal workers and the urgency to improve their situation and the first steps that are made to do so.


Together with the local partner we visited many sweat shops, spoke to the workers and selected the stories that presented the current situation and first improvements best. We delivered a set of general photos of the situation, portraits and articles. They were used as part of the book Change! that Mondiaal FNV made for their external relations.


The power of people

During our visit of the sweat shops in Dhaka, we were overwhelmed by the thousands of people that were hidden in these rundown flats, invisible to the outside world. We saw how young boys and girls started working as early as 9 years old. Living and working in the same small room: 7 days a week. But at the same time we were impressed by the resilience of the people to make the best of life. How they were not only dreaming about a better future, but found – by uniting themselves – the power to speak up and improve their situation and that of their children for the best.



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