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Foreign garment workers: Room for improvement

We are all guilty of purchasing clothing without really the "background" to its manufacture.    The tragedy in Bangladesh 3 years ago when 1136 garment workers  at a factory were killed in a horrendous fire, highlighted the exploitation of foreign workers.    So, what is the situation now?....

"Since she was 12, Jessica has been spinning cotton in the fabric mills of southern India, mostly to be used in the clothes of Western fashion brands.

Now in her late teens, Jessica is not only struggling with health issues caused by the constant inhalation of cotton fibres. But she's fighting to receive the full lump sum payment her family was promised for years of bonded labour.

Fabric mill workers in Tamil Nadu in India. Many are underpaid and overworked.

Jessica's story is typical of some 300,000 young women in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where they've been lured with promises of money and safe accommodation but instead been abused and exploited.

"I stayed at the hostel where there were 300 other girls," Jessica told a labour rights advocate for a recent report. "There were only 10 bathrooms. Twenty girls were squeezed into one room."

The 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed 1136 garment workers in Bangladesh shone a spotlight on the use of dirt-cheat labor by major brands. In the wake of the collapse, new reports show some companies are making progress in stamping out child labour and exploitation.

A report by Baptist World Aid shows 77 per cent of surveyed fashion companies now know their suppliers at the final stage of production and 79 per cent know where their fabric is produced. Both figures are up from 50 per cent three years ago."


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