Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Millions of workers in fashion sector become little more than slave - ITGLWF

Millions of workers in fashion sector become little more than slave - ITGLWF

02
Oct '09
Speaking at the University of Pavia in Italy at the launch of the audio version of Glockers by Silvana Cappuccio, Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation said that fashion comes at a huge cost to those who produce the goods, resulting in insecurity, harsh treatment, long working hours, low pay and abuse.

Said Mr. Kearney: “Millions of workers in the fashion industry have become little more than slaves. Most are women and most are young, some very young. Armies of children, some as young as four years old, work long hours often only for a meager ration of food. Many, in countries like India, have been bought for a few Euros from their parents or have been kidnapped and then trafficked into slavery far from home.

“A recent survey in India suggests that a quarter of all garment factories are employing under-age labour. Most of the production is for export to Europe. Shame on those fashion houses, fashion brands and fashion retailers who drive this slavery. And shame on those consumers who buy these products without questioning how they were made and how they can be sold so cheaply when so much labour is involved.

“Recent research in Bangladesh shows the incidence of tuberculosis among garment workers is double that of the population as a whole. No wonder when large numbers work in humid, overcrowded conditions for long hours and with little food. TB is inevitable with this lethal cocktail of exhaustion, malnutrition and unsanitary conditions. Again, the brands and retailers who continue to source garments from such an environment must bear much of the blame for the damage they cause these workers, their families and communities.

“In efforts to drive down wages even further, workers are increasingly being shipped from one country to another to turn out garments for export. Italian manufacturers have closed their factories in Italy and shifted production to Romania where wages are a quarter of those here. But, Romanian workers unsatisfied with such low wages and the way they have been treated have moved west in search of better paid work, often as cleaners and domestics leaving the local textile, garment and shoe industries short of labour. No problem! A ready solution is at hand. Import workers from China, Bangladesh or Nepal and pay them even less.

“And to exploit these workers even more they are forced to pay recruitment fees, travel costs and handling charges. Often the payments are greater than the wages earned meaning that many of these workers will never be free of debt. So, modern day slavery on our doorstep! Again, shame on those who profit from this inhumanity to man".

Concluded Mr. Kearney: “We surely have to ask if fashion is really worth so much suffering. And we also have to ask whether those who place orders in such hell-holes should not be subject to prosecution and imprisonment here in Europe for aiding and abetting this cruel exploitation and destruction of young lives”.

International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation


Must ReadView All

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Bayazid Akter | Dreamstime.com

Textiles | On 1st Dec 2021

PM Hasina urges global investors to invest in Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently urged investors from across the ...

Pic: EuroCham

Textiles | On 1st Dec 2021

EU asks Vietnam to improve policies for effective EVFTA implementation

Up to 35 per cent of European business leaders see administrative...

Marta Ortega at the general meeting of shareholders of Inditex on July 16, 2019. Pic: Iago Lopez | Dreamstime.com

Retail | On 30th Nov 2021

Inditex appoints Marta Ortega as chairwoman, Oscar Garcia as CEO

The Board of Directors of Spanish clothing company Inditex has...

Interviews View All

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Occam's razor principle and purpose-driven innovations

Gaurav Davda, Jindal Worldwide Ltd

Gaurav Davda
Jindal Worldwide Ltd

Indian MMF sector to become globally competitive

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Quality & affordability to affect market acceptability of new fibres

Raiyan Islam,

Raiyan Islam

Founded in 1981 by Sayeeful Islam, Concorde Garments Group is a market...

Ghatit Laheru,

Ghatit Laheru

When the 2001 tremblor wrecked the Kachchh region of Gujarat throwing many ...

Rishav Bajoria & Subham Sengupta,

Rishav Bajoria & Subham Sengupta

Launched in October 2020, the Gumti app could not have come at a more...

 Natacha Defeche, Edana

Natacha Defeche
Edana

Since 1971, EDANA, the International association serving the nonwovens and ...

Pranesh Sridharan & Berndt Koll, Lenzing

Pranesh Sridharan & Berndt Koll
Lenzing

The Lenzing Group produces Lenzing Lyocell and Modal cellulosic fibres of...

Sameer Sonkusale & Rachel Owyeung, Tufts University

Sameer Sonkusale & Rachel Owyeung
Tufts University

A team at the Tufts University in Massachusetts was recently in news for...

Anju Modi, Label Anju Modi

Anju Modi
Label Anju Modi

Filmfare Award winner for best costume designer,<b> Anju Modi </b>is...

Suman Nathwani, Suman Nathwani

Suman Nathwani
Suman Nathwani

Designer <b>Suman Nathwani</b> talks about her journey of opening a...

Shalini Sharma & Shweta Pundir Sharma, Six Yard Story

Shalini Sharma & Shweta Pundir Sharma
Six Yard Story

Six Yard Story is a premium artisanal brand with a focus to bring handloom ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


December 2021

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Advanced Search