The Documentary Podcast
Hanging by a thread: Bangladesh’s garment workers
Thursday, 7 May
In March, Aafiyah was told the garment factory where she worked would be closing. And like many other garment workers, she was left destitute in the slums of Dhaka.
Bangladesh’s garment industry employs millions of workers, mainly women, who make clothes for high street brands in Europe and the US. Western retailers, who have seen sales plummet due to the pandemic, have cancelled or suspended more than 3 billion dollars’ worth of orders from Bangladeshi garment factories. Over a million jobs in the sector could now be at risk.
For Assignment, Caroline Bayley and Morshed Ali Khan hear Aafiyah’s story, and talk to factory owners and the British Retail Consortium about the huge challenges facing Bangladesh's main export industry.
Producer: Josephine Casserly
(Image: Women, wearing masks, work in a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain)