**Update 16 September 2016: Great news! H&M have contacted us to confirm that following direct contact with their suppliers in Bangladesh, it can confirm this factory is not part of its supply chain. Now it’s time for Gap and Asda to do the same. ***
Warning: Trigger alert -- this may be very difficult to read as the content refers to the physical abuse and death of a child.
This is heartbreaking. A child in Bangladesh has been tortured to death at the textile factory he worked in.
Sagar Barman was nine years old when he was murdered. He worked in a textile mill just south of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. In July, a gang of senior employees -- apparently angered that he’d gone into a restricted area -- forced an air compressor into his rectum. Sagar died of internal injuries soon afterwards.
Textile factories in Bangladesh supply some of the world’s biggest clothing corporations with cheap clothing. But, because there’s little transparency in their supply chains, there’s no way of knowing whether the shirt you’re wearing now was made in the factory Sagar worked in.
So let’s ask clothing companies sourcing clothes from Bangladesh to prove it wasn’t. Let’s tell them to prove they’re not using factories where children are being abused, or even killed.
H&M, Gap and Asda: prove your clothes aren’t made in Sagar’s factory.
Unbelievably, this wasn’t the first such tragedy in Bangladesh. A year ago, a 13-year-old boy working at a different factory was killed in exactly the same way. These two boys were among the 4.9 million child labourers in Bangladesh, many of whom work in hazardous conditions for little pay.
But while children are exposed to dangerous conditions and abuse, the global brands they supply with cheap clothing are making billions from their work.
If we want to improve life for children like Sagar, we need global clothing corporations to open up their supply chains to scrutiny. We need them to become fully transparent about where their clothes are made, so they can be held accountable when their workers are exploited or mistreated -- and so they start taking serious action to end that exploitation and abuse.
In the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of SumOfUs members came together to demand companies pay a few pennies more per garment to make sure their workers weren’t dying. As a result, dozens of companies responded and signed a groundbreaking building and fire safety accord. But now we need to do more.
Please sign our petition asking H&M, Gap and Asda to prove their clothes aren’t made in Sagar’s factory.