'I got hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop. Meet my 9-year-old boss'

In the Toronto Star, writer Raveena Aulakh gets hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop and meets an extraordinary 9-year-old girl whose life, deprived of education and many basic rights, is all too common. Reading this amazing undercover account, one wonders what will now become of the child, her identity revealed. Perhaps the only thing worse than working in a sweatshop at age 9 is having that job taken away, if your life and that of your family depends on it. A compelling, sad read.

Notable Replies

  1. IMB says:

    Tough story. Any idea who sells the clothing?

  2. I'm sure she brings more maturity to her job than many supervisors.

  3. IMB says:

    Yeah, it's kind of crazy the conditions and that a child is enduring them and yet I understand that it is putting food on the table. But...at the same time someone is getting rich off of her back aches and sore fingers. I have been noticing a steady rise in the cost of apparel. Clearly, the increase isn't due to paying these laborers additional income. I would like to know which stores think paying so little for so much work is okay. I'm certain that some of the clothing is shipped here.

  4. Shash says:

    False dichotomy. With its agricultural output, Bengal (both East and West) should be at least self-sufficient, not begging barely paying jobs. The culture of education there is highly advanced - Shantiniketan, for crying out loud - and the location at the head of the Bay of Bengal is a particularly strong one. Burma to one side is equally productive, and South India on the other is a success story even today. A thousand years ago, the Bay was chock filled with trade going up and down between the Coromandel Coast, Bengal, Burma and Malaya, all the way up to Vietnam and the Philippines. Most of Bengal's famines come down to poor management rather than crop failure.

    What they need is a bit of peace and a bit of infrastructure building. They shouldn't be scrambling for the scraps off the tables of the West (or even the East).

    Not the ideal example, I think. Have you seen their air quality recently?

    Besides, as their wages increase, production is being shifted elsewhere. Outsourcing for megacorps is not a sustainable strategy, nor is prostitution of your environment in the interests of richer countries, as we've found out time and again.

    Even Bangladesh has better options, but they'll naturally take time to develop - even if allowed to develop...

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