Bangladesh

Overview

Transparentem has worked hard to help alleviate serious environmental and human rights abuses within Bangladesh’s leather-tanning industry. Our first investigation documented pollution, child labor, and hazardous conditions in Hazaribagh, then the center of Bangladesh’s tanning operations. Environmental researchers and activists had labelled the neighborhood one of “the world’s 10 most polluted places.” In April 2017, just two weeks after Transparentem disclosed the investigation, the government of Bangladesh fulfilled a years-old court order and shut down roughly 150 tanneries in Hazaribagh. Many of these companies moved their operations to a tannery estate in Savar, where we continued to monitor ongoing labor and environmental problems in the industry. Transparentem’s 2020 survey of Savar tannery workers collected evidence of exploitative working conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019 and 2020, Transparentem disclosed investigations revealing evidence that migrant workers from Bangladesh—who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and forced labor—paid excessive recruitment-related fees to secure work at garment factories in Malaysia. More information about these investigations can be found here.

Our Work in Bangladesh

NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Our Work in Bangladesh

NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Transparentem’s Bangladesh Work in the News

Supply chain audit deception ‘common’ – report
Ecotextile
21 October 2021
Audit deception is common in global apparel supply chains according to a new report from...
Tannery Workers’ Pandemic Plight Highlights Need for Reform
The Business Standard
4 February 2021
Bangladesh's tannery workers are in financial crisis due to Covid-19, but exploitative working conditions are...
Toxic Tanneries Forced to Move Pollute New Bangladesh Site
The Associated Press
6 July 2018
Bangladesh tanneries prepping leather for shoes, belts, wallets and purses are dumping toxic chemicals into...
Bangladesh: Unsafe work conditions and child labour reported in tanneries supplying leather to western brands, companies respond
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
28 March 2017
A report by Transparentem, a nonprofit group that investigates supply chains, allege that hazardous, heavily...
Report Examines Grim Bangladesh Leather Trade, Links to West
The Associated Press
24 March 2017
Hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries, with workers as young as 14, supplied leather to companies that...
Western Brands Respond to Report on Bangladesh Tanneries
The Associated Press
24 March 2017
Leather made with child labor and under dangerous, polluted conditions in Bangladesh went to factories...