The price of cheap clothes? – Dhaka factory disaster

On Wednesday 24 April 2013 a building complex collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The building was home to a large garment factory making clothes for western retailers such as Primark.

Factory bosses Mahbubur Rahman Tapas and Balzul Samad Adnan surrendered to police on Saturday while Aminul Islam was arrested later the same day.

Police said they had ordered an evacuation of the building on Tuesday after cracks appeared, but that the factories ignored them and were operating the next day.
In pictures:
VIDEO – Survivor speaks of collapse whilst authorities fire on angry protestors:
On Sunday, thousands of relatives of missing workers were waiting at the site as survivors and the dead are pulled from the rubble.

Police said 353 bodies had been been found, 301 of which had been identified. A further 2,431 people are known to have survived.
VIDEO – Western brands criticised over factory collapse:
Following the disaster, questions have been asked in the UK about whether our demand for cheap clothes has somehow contributed to this dreadful event

BBC News: Shoppers in London were asked if they knew where the clothes they were wearing were manufactured and if they were aware of the Dhaka building collapse in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing cheap clothing for major Western retailers which benefit from its widespread low-cost labour.
People on Oxford Street, London, spoke about what they knew of events in Bangladesh and whether they would be happy to pay higher prices for their clothes.

Bangladeshfactory collapse: Who really pays for our cheap clothes?

VIDEO – Bangladeshgarment industry scrutinized:
Bangladeshtextile workers deaths ‘avoidable’

Dark underworld of Bangladesh clothes industry:

Why are workers who make cheap clothes paying with their lives?

Sources: BBC News, ITN, Al Jazeera, CNN, Daily Mail, The Independent

Risking it all in Amazonia – River traders

There is an industry at work in Amazonia, where children risk their lives for small amounts of money

Along the river, boats pass close to the shore. This is where children operate small canoes selling sweets and jams.

The river traders of Brazil follows Jesse, but his is a story that ends in tragedy. The youngster turns to piracy and is shot dead by the captain of a river barge during an attempted robbery.

But, as the film shows, life and trade on the river goes on. And for the children of this area, there is little alternative.

Watch it here:

Urbanisation and Migration in China

China will shortly have a situation where urban dwellers will outnumber those in rural areas for the first time in history. This is one reason for the growth in the Chinese economy as migrant workers provide labour in factories in the cities and buy goods and services which helps to drive the economy.

Urbanisation rates are still far lower than Europe and North America. However, this change has meant that many younger people are leaving the rural areas resulting in an elderly imbalanced population in the countryside.