Bangladesh

The Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh has experienced rapid growth since the 1980s. The garment export industry is the biggest earner for Bangladesh, which accounts for 81% of total export earnings. It is estimated that over 7,000 factories are linked to the export market. There is a concentration of activity in and around the capital city of Dhaka, Chittagong, Narayangong, Tongi, Shavar and Konabari districts and a growing garment manufacturing presence in the country’s export processing zones (EPZs). Identifying exact production locations (addresses of manufacturers) of all products has been challenging for most brands doing business in Bangladesh. Due to unauthorised subcontracting, production for export can be done in small workshops with least labour production.

Labour conditions have been improved significantly after the Rana Plaza tragedy. The minimum wage has increased by 79% in 2013. The age verification system is improved in most export oriented factories. Less child labour cases are found in the export industry.  However, enforcement of labour law in RMG factories still needs to improve. FWF audits and stakeholder consultations in 2015 showed that the main challenges are related to freedom of association, payment of living wages, reducing excessive overtime and improving safety at work, especially women workers’ safety.

The government of Bangladesh has ratified the three main ILO conventions on Social Dialogue: Freedom of Association and Protection of the right to organise (No. 87), Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (No. 98) and Tripartite consultation (No. 144). Nevertheless, the union landscape remains fragmented. Low membership, lack of recognition and fragmentation keeps the trade union movement relatively weak, especially after a period during which unionisation was prohibited.

The current minimum wage in the garment sector is BDT 5,300 or EUR 60 per month is one of the lowest minimum wages in the world. The 2013 minimum wage law is yet to be implemented fully. At some factories, workers’ pay grades are systematically changed so that they are paid less. Due to the low regular income, workers make significant amounts of overtime to complement their earnings. In many cases, the payment of overtime is lower than legally required. In the subcontracting factories, workers often do not receive minimum wages and have no access to social security.

Over half of the four million workers in the garment sector in Bangladesh are women. While the garment factories provide employment and thus certain financial independence to young women, working conditions are characterised by low wages and an unsafe environment.

Women are also found in the lowest level of jobs in the industry. They work as sewing machine operators mainly and are not moved up in supervisory positions. There are very few women working as cutting masters, a job that does not necessarily involve physical strength, but where workers gain much more salary than the ones working with a sewing machine. Verbal abuse with sexually explicit profanity, bullying, pulling hair, pushing and hitting with fabrics are wide mentioned as common forms of violence against women in the workplace. Although it is reported that male production workers in the lowest grade experienced less verbal abuse and sexual harassment, they also face violence at work, e.g. bullying, hitting and forced resignation.

Fire and building safety of the factories has been a major concern for most stakeholders. Although there have been improvements in the recent years in terms of stricter regulations and enforcement of the law, continuous training is still needed to raise awareness on safety and increase knowledge of accident prevention.  FWF has strengthened the dialogue with its stakeholders on the specific risks and maintains close contact with the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

Addition to the general requirements in the Code of Labour Practices, FWF members sourcing from Bangladesh are expected to follow the  Enhanced monitoring programme Bangladesh (2014).

For more information about Bangladesh, please download the FWF’s Bangladesh Country Study.

Indicators

  1. FWF active since: 2006
  2. Complaints handler: yes
  3. Audit teams: 2
  4. FWF affiliates sourcing: 16
  5. Number of suppliers: 255
  6. Human development rank: 142
  7. Minimum wage: 5300 BDT = 66 US$
  8. GDP per capita per year (PPP$): 2,364
  9. Income equality value (Gini): 32,1
  10. Population below 1.25$/day: 43,3%
  11. Rule of law: 22,7%
  12. Global Gender Gap Index: 68
  13. Child labour (5-14 years): 13%
  14. Wage equality for similar work rank: 115
  15. Trade union situation

Complaints handling in Bangladesh

FWF considers a growth in complaints to be a good sign. This means that workers are becoming more aware of their rights and are more comfortable coming forward with grievances about their working conditions and the way Fair Wear Foundation's Code of Labour Practices is implemented in these factories. View all complaints in Bangladesh.

Complaint statistics since 2012

FWF has received 43 complaints about workplace violations
Together with brands and factories we have resolved and closed 20 complaints
Most complaints concerned Legally binding employment relationship
Complaints received per year

FWF encourages workers to use internal grievance systems, and sees the complaints system as a last-resort measure.

Most complaints are about these labour standards:

Complaints may involve more than one labour standard.

a legal contract 27 a living wage 18 Safe conditions 17
FWF has received 43 complaints about workplace violations
Together with brands and factories we have resolved and closed 20 complaints
Most complaints concerned Legally binding employment relationship
Complaints received per year

FWF encourages workers to use internal grievance systems, and sees the complaints system as a last-resort measure.

Most complaints are about these labour standards:

Complaints may involve more than one labour standard.

a legal contract 27
Most complaints are about these labour standards:

Complaints may involve more than one labour standard.

a living wage 18
Most complaints are about these labour standards:

Complaints may involve more than one labour standard.

Safe conditions 17

Latest complaints

The Cotton Group S.A. (B&C), Stanley and Stella S.A., Complaint 423

On 14 June FWF received a call to the complaint helpline of a worker, who is an active … read more

Takko Holding GmbH, Complaint 262

Workers called the FWF helpline to complain about the fact that they were asked by mana… read more

Takko Holding GmbH, Complaint 380

On 21 January 2018, FWF complaints handler in Bangladesh received a complaint from a wo… read more

View all complaints in Bangladesh

Resources

Resources related to Bangladesh

Bangladesh Complaint Takko April 2017 2

INITIAL REPORT OF A COMPLAINT AT A FACTORY IN BANGLADESH SUPPLYING T date: 20/06/2017Read more

Bangladesh Country Study 2016

Bangladesh Country Study 2016 Read more about the current situation date: 21/12/2016Read more

Bangladesh Enhanced Monitoring Programme 2014

Bangladesh Enhanced Monitoring Programme 2014 Read more about the B date: 05/07/2012Read more

FWF Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety 2013

Fair Wear Foundation's framework on Fire and Building Safety in Bang date: 21/12/2011Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Fristads Kansas Schijvens February 2016

Final report of complaint at a factory supplying Fristad Kansas & date: 11/05/2016Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Fristad Kansas Sols January 2016

Final report of complaint in Bangladesh at factory that supplies Fri date: 11/05/2016Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Stanley and Stella February 2015

Intermediate report of complaint in Bangladesh at a factory supplyin date: 15/02/2015Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Continental January 2015

Intermediate report of a complaint at a factory supplying Continenta date: 15/02/2015Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Takko August 2013

Final report of complaint in Bangladesh at factory that supplies Tak date: 26/02/2013Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Takko August 2014

Final report of complaint in Bangladesh at factory that supplies Tak date: 28/03/2014Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Takko August 2014 (2)

Final Report of Complaint in Bangladesh at factory that supplies Tak date: 28/03/2014Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Takko August 2014 (3)

Final report of complaint in Bangladesh at factory that supplies Tak date: 28/03/2014Read more

Bangladesh Complaint Kwintet October 2013

Final report of complaint in Bangladesh at factory that supplies Kwi date: 26/02/2013Read more

Members sourcing from Bangladesh

Projects

Projects in Bangladesh

Workplace Education Programme

FWF members look for more than participating in auditing. FWF’s Workplace Education Programme (WEP) provides short, targeted onsite training for managers, supervisors and workers. The training aims to raise awareness about the various labour standards and effective methods for communicating about problems and resolving disputes. Managers, supervisors and workers also learn about FWF’s complaints mechanism.

Go to WEP

News

Here you can see the latest news from FWF’s work in Bangladesh

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FWF is active in country

FWF member brand sources in country

Complaints in country

FWF projects in country

Data is obtained from Brand Performance Checks and may not reflect the most current situation

Albania

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Fair Wear is not active in Albania

7 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Albania

Armenia

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Fair Wear is not active in Armenia

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Armenia

Austria

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Fair Wear is not active in Austria

7 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Austria

Bahrain

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Fair Wear is not active in Bahrain

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Bahrain

4 complaints

Bangladesh

The Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh has experienced... more

Fair Wear is active in Bangladesh

225 factories work with FWF members

18 FWF members source in Bangladesh

43 complaints

1 FWF projects

Belarus

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Fair Wear is not active in Belarus

1 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Belarus

Belgium

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Fair Wear is not active in Belgium

5 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Belgium

Bolivia

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Fair Wear is not active in Bolivia

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Fair Wear is not active in Bosnia and Herzegovina

9 factories work with FWF members

8 FWF members source in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

The predominant part of the apparel producing companies in Bulgaria... more

Fair Wear is active in Bulgaria

45 factories work with FWF members

17 FWF members source in Bulgaria

1 complaint

1 FWF projects

Cambodia

Although FWF is not currently active in Cambodia, one of FWF's stra... more

Fair Wear is not active in Cambodia

11 factories work with FWF members

8 FWF members source in Cambodia

China

China is, still, the largest exporter of garment products. 2014 wit... more

Fair Wear is active in China

826 factories work with FWF members

62 FWF members source in China

82 complaints

2 FWF projects

Croatia

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Fair Wear is not active in Croatia

6 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Croatia

Czech Republic

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Fair Wear is not active in Czech Republic

12 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Czech Republic

Egypt

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Fair Wear is not active in Egypt

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Egypt

Estonia

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Fair Wear is not active in Estonia

4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Estonia

Ethiopia

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Fair Wear is not active in Ethiopia

1 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Ethiopia

France

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Fair Wear is not active in France

31 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in France

1 complaint

Georgia

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Fair Wear is not active in Georgia

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Georgia

Germany

more

Fair Wear is not active in Germany

57 factories work with FWF members

23 FWF members source in Germany

Greece

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Fair Wear is not active in Greece

2 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Greece

Honduras

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Fair Wear is not active in Honduras

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Honduras

Hong Kong

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Fair Wear is not active in Hong Kong

6 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Hong Kong

Hungary

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Fair Wear is not active in Hungary

23 factories work with FWF members

14 FWF members source in Hungary

India

The textile and garment industry plays an important role in India... more

Fair Wear is active in India

238 factories work with FWF members

41 FWF members source in India

76 complaints

1 FWF projects

Indonesia

Indonesia’s manufacturing sector generates around a fifth of the ... more

Fair Wear is active in Indonesia

30 factories work with FWF members

12 FWF members source in Indonesia

14 complaints

1 FWF projects

Israel

more

Fair Wear is not active in Israel

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Israel

Italy

ITALY While considered a low risk country, in the past few years w... more

Fair Wear is not active in Italy

172 factories work with FWF members

25 FWF members source in Italy

2 complaints

Jordan

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Fair Wear is not active in Jordan

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Jordan

Lao People´s Democratic Republic

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Fair Wear is not active in Lao People´s Democratic Republic

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Lao People´s Democratic Republic

Latvia

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Fair Wear is not active in Latvia

13 factories work with FWF members

7 FWF members source in Latvia

Lithuania

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Fair Wear is not active in Lithuania

50 factories work with FWF members

20 FWF members source in Lithuania

Macedonia

FWF began working in Macedonia in 2003. The garment industry is a v... more

Fair Wear is active in Macedonia

36 factories work with FWF members

13 FWF members source in Macedonia

5 complaints

1 FWF projects

Madagascar

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Fair Wear is not active in Madagascar

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Madagascar

Malaysia

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Fair Wear is not active in Malaysia

4 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Malaysia

Mauritius

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Fair Wear is not active in Mauritius

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Mauritius

Moldova

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Fair Wear is not active in Moldova

8 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Moldova

Mongolia

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Fair Wear is not active in Mongolia

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Mongolia

Morocco

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Fair Wear is not active in Morocco

10 factories work with FWF members

8 FWF members source in Morocco

2 complaints

Myanmar

While Myanmar has demonstrated significant progress on civil and po... more

Fair Wear is active in Myanmar

17 factories work with FWF members

10 FWF members source in Myanmar

44 complaints

1 FWF projects

Nepal

more

Fair Wear is not active in Nepal

3 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Nepal

Netherlands

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Fair Wear is not active in Netherlands

6 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Netherlands

4 complaints

New Zealand

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Fair Wear is not active in New Zealand

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in New Zealand

Pakistan

FWF is not active in Pakistan. However, one of FWF's strategic part... more

Fair Wear is not active in Pakistan

32 factories work with FWF members

12 FWF members source in Pakistan

1 complaint

Peru

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Fair Wear is not active in Peru

8 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Peru

Philippines

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Fair Wear is not active in Philippines

3 factories work with FWF members

3 FWF members source in Philippines

Poland

Poland falls under FWF’s low-risk policy. This means that members... more

Fair Wear is not active in Poland

45 factories work with FWF members

24 FWF members source in Poland

Portugal

Portugal falls under FWF’s low-risk policy. This means that membe... more

Fair Wear is not active in Portugal

136 factories work with FWF members

35 FWF members source in Portugal

Republic of Korea

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Fair Wear is not active in Republic of Korea

4 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Republic of Korea

Romania

The textile and garment industry is one of the most important secto... more

Fair Wear is active in Romania

57 factories work with FWF members

20 FWF members source in Romania

3 complaints

1 FWF projects

Russian Federation

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Fair Wear is not active in Russian Federation

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Russian Federation

Serbia

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Fair Wear is not active in Serbia

4 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Serbia

Slovakia

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Fair Wear is not active in Slovakia

18 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Slovakia

Slovenia

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Fair Wear is not active in Slovenia

5 factories work with FWF members

5 FWF members source in Slovenia

Spain

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Fair Wear is not active in Spain

5 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Spain

Sri Lanka

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Fair Wear is not active in Sri Lanka

9 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Sri Lanka

Sweden

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Fair Wear is not active in Sweden

3 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in Sweden

Switzerland

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Fair Wear is not active in Switzerland

7 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Switzerland

Taiwan

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Fair Wear is not active in Taiwan

7 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Taiwan

Thailand

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Fair Wear is not active in Thailand

9 factories work with FWF members

4 FWF members source in Thailand

1 complaint

Tunisia

Tunisia is among the world’s leading suppliers of clothing, an in... more

Fair Wear is active in Tunisia

64 factories work with FWF members

18 FWF members source in Tunisia

16 complaints

1 FWF projects

Turkey

Turkey is the fifth biggest supplier country for FWF members. Produ... more

Fair Wear is active in Turkey

217 factories work with FWF members

44 FWF members source in Turkey

43 complaints

1 FWF projects

Ukraine

more

Fair Wear is not active in Ukraine

10 factories work with FWF members

6 FWF members source in Ukraine

1 complaint

United Arab Emirates

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Fair Wear is not active in United Arab Emirates

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

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Fair Wear is not active in United Kingdom

2 factories work with FWF members

2 FWF members source in United Kingdom

United States

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Fair Wear is not active in United States

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in United States

Vietnam

In 2017 Fair Wear Foundation had 29 member companies sourcing from ... more

Fair Wear is active in Vietnam

155 factories work with FWF members

29 FWF members source in Vietnam

29 complaints

1 FWF projects

Zimbabwe

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Fair Wear is not active in Zimbabwe

1 factories work with FWF members

1 FWF members source in Zimbabwe