Key Factors And Impact Of Sweatshops Labour In Bangladesh

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This investigative report will explore the impact of institutional evil sweatshops labour. This will include the analysis of key facts factors and how Catholic’s and other world religions approach to this issue. Finally, the attitudes and principles required to underpin a positive transformation, as well as proposed strategies to provide change, will be deduced.

Intuitional evil is defined as evil contained within organisations or structures of human society, rather than a result wickedness (Sandford, 2018). Due to its ingrained and repetitive nature, its often committed with a significant lack of humanity and empathy towards its human victims despite its oppressive nature.

This report will investigate the use of sweatshops labour in Bangladesh. According to the oxford English dictionary, a sweatshop is a “factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under extreme poor conditions.

This report will investigate the impact of sweatshop labour for Bangladesh workers, Key facts will be interpreted, and secular and religious responses to the issue will be analysed. These will then inform suggestions to influence positive changes around the issue of sweatshops in Bangladesh.

Overview of the Issue

A sweatshop is defined by the US Department of Labour as a factory that violates 2 or more labour. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. Almost half of its population lives on less than $1.10 a day. Eighty percent, or 29 million dollars, of Bangladesh’s exports is accounted for by clothing exports, deeming it the second largest clothing exporters after China

Sweatshops in Bangladesh employ 3.5 million workers in 4825 garment factories. A sweatshop workers minimum wage is approximately 39 dollars per month is 75% cheaper than china. Workers earn 13 cents per hour, which is 75 percent less then China. As much, to save money, many garment companies have established factories in Bangladesh (Women’s Weekly, 2015)

It is common for labourers to work fourteen to sixteen hours per day, seven days a week. They are required to produce 100 to 200 garments of clothing per hour, with no time for breaks for stuff like food, water or even fresh air. Often workers are locked in and forced to work over night, sometimes this can continue till 3am until there large orders are finished.

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Workers face unsafe, cramped and dangerous working conditions which are well below the Australian standards for work to be enforced in that area. Since the 1900s more than 400 workers have passed away and several thousand have been seriously injured in 50 major factories due to these dangerous working conditions. In 2013 a major garment factory, Rana Plaza collapsed taking over 1000 lives.

Secular Response to the Issue

Following the collapsing pf Rana Plaza in the year 2013, the organisation Faire and Building Safety help prevent accidents like this to occur again. This organisation then helped form Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (ACCORD), a legally binding agreement between global brands and for current factories to improve the hazards and make it more of a healthy environment for the workers. Over 200 companies agreed with ACCORD and by the year 2018 in May the work of this company had contributed significant for the safety of these workplaces for the millions of workers in the Bangladesh garment factories. Major brand like Kmart, Cotton on and Target have all joined this organisation. (ADD CHECK DRAFT)

Christian Response to the Issue

Both the old and new testament of the bible contain passages that encourage the education around the treatment of labourers. New revised standard Version, Colossians 4:1 explain to us “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly knowing that you also have a master in heaven and New Revised Standard Version, Ephesians 6:8 educate us that “Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the lord, whether he is a slave or free”. Both passages teach us around the issue of sweatshops but particularly child labouring, The Bible tries to educate the reader that this is wrong and to treat one the way you would want to be treated.

The Catholic Social Teachings of rights and responsibilities to work explains that the employees are peoples first, and not to be pushed to the side and be used or abused. People have the right to fight for safe working conditions, a wage that supports their family and fair working hours. Subsidiarity and Participation evocates that all people have the right to participate in decisions that are going to affect their lives. Sweatshop workers in Bangladesh should be able to negotiate their working conditions, hours and pay with the employers. This way worker will be treated fairly and equally rather then being belittled, human needs to be fulfilled. Solidarity, the Dignity of a Human Person believes that all people are made in the image of God, so sweatshop labourers should be treated as one. Poverty, hunger, oppression and injustice make it impossible to live a life with these issues. Thus, those in control of a sweatshop’s conditions must ensure it is suitable for safe and healthy working conditions

Recommendations for the College

Strategies are proposed for the College to help overcome this institutional evil and make systems more accountable for the upholding justice and human rights. Firstly, all garments to be sold in retail will be labelled with information about where and what conditions the garment is made. Considering 70% of Australian purchase would be willing to pay more for garments constructed in fair conditions, this would make it clear whether purchases supports sweatshops. So before buying the garment ask the store, do research and see whether the garment is safe.

Additionally, other ways to change the issue or change perspectives is spreading information around the topic, on assembly’s in the voca (newsletter) or on the school’s social media by starting a hashtag of #checkitb4youbuyit. The college could even run workshops for the girls so they can see what it would be like to work in a sweatshop under the conditions of these labourers.


Currently, the issue of sweatshop labour is underpinned by attitudes of apathy, ignorance, carelessness and inattention. In order to positively transform perspectives, empathy, fairness and protection should be employed. Garment purchases need to develop empathy for their producers, if customers heard the stories of their producers and were their goods and services came from and were able to experience their lives and work in the conditions these labourers have, maybe then they could understand the necessary to negotiate reasonable pay, working hours and conditions for the labourers. Furthermore, protection for those who are vulnerable is essential so that each person is granted the right to feel safe at work. Safety is a right.

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Key Factors And Impact Of Sweatshops Labour In Bangladesh. (2021, September 22). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from
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