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Bangladesh

Despite some earnest progress, workers, including children, are still being exploited. Big factories that supply major brands are better regulated, but many of the smaller operations -- just one link down in the supply chain -- are still engaging children in some of the worst forms of child labour.
We are presented opportunities everyday to make a difference in the lives of those around us, near or far, through our actions, time, or money. Whether we embrace that opportunity is up to us and, evidently, even the smallest of gestures or actions can veritably snowball into lasting results.
Lives are at stake. This much is clear from the murders in Bangladesh. One death is far too many. The big organizations of Muslims can really send out a strong and powerful message that despite theological differences, there is no room in Islam to so poorly treat our LGBT Muslim brothers and sisters.
Do tolerance and social peace prevail in Muslim-majority countries which enshrine "Islam" in law? Nowadays in most such countries, atheists, apostates and those who convert to another religion are persecuted. In a religion of peace, freedom of conscience and belief should be guaranteed to everyone.
I know that global trade is critical to raising many poor families out of poverty -- as in the Bangladeshi families noted above. But the economic model I want to see more of is one where strong local economies around the world are meeting people's needs in a sustainable and healthy way.
“You are what you wear. Today, it’s becoming more and more important to choose your apparel consciously and to make sustainable fashion choices.”
In Dhaka and other big production centres, the garment workers have a measure of economic autonomy, often the sole support of their families. They want to keep their jobs. They want us to keep buying the clothes they make. They have never called for a boycott. What they want to change is their poor wages and despicably unsafe working condition. And thus was born The FAST Campaign a series of art projects leading to consumer activism -- a demand for a FAIR living wage; ADULT labour only, SAFE working conditions, and no unpaid over-TIME.
Few media outlets have mentioned the abuses that minorities in Bangladesh have endured since the country won its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Discrimination is particularly brutal against the indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, who have suffered horrific human rights violations at the hands of Bangladeshi settlers and the military forces supporting them. Canada is an aid donor to Bangladesh and must take action to end the ongoing human rights violations against religious minorities and indigenous peoples.
According to an Ipsos poll, when shopping for clothes, 76 per cent of Canadians feel stress that they're paying too much for something while just 59 per cent are concerned about child labour. With the sun shining brighter every day, I plunged into my sons' closets last weekend, in search of spring clothes that would still fit them. Sitting there, sipping, I thought of another little boy, one whom I hadn't seen in a while. His name is Jewel.
As Canadian consumers, we have the power to help change the plot for the world's children. It lies in the decisions we make about our purchases. Do we contribute to keeping children trapped and enslaved, or do we make the decisions that help set them free? On the World Day Against Child Labour, we must all consider our roles in the story.
The notion that the Rana Plaza factory collapse came out of the blue and took everyone by surprise is sheer fiction. The companies who sell these clothes have known for a long time that there are serious problems with the working conditions in the factories they use. But talk about addressing those issues is about as cheap as the clothing they sell.
According to Michael Hershman, an international expert on transparency and accountability, corruption is more severe in Quebec than anywhere else in Canada and a "culture of corruption" has invaded the province's business elite.
2013-09-04-TWB_HuffPo_EBanner.jpg If there is one country that stands out as the ultimate example for this emerging trend of extreme fluctuations in weather and the water cycle, it is without a doubt Bangladesh. Bangladesh has become the poster child for climate change for many reasons.
Every year on October 7 workers around the globe recognize the World Day for Decent Work. It reminds us of the current and constant downward pressure placed on workers, as incomes stagnate, as wealth concentrates in the hands of the privileged few and as jobs become more insecure and more precarious.
I've been reading about the war in Burma/Myanmar. It's a conflict between the Buddhist Burmese majority and approximately 800,000 Royhingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) State. They are among the world's least wanted and most persecuted people.
When an 8-storey building collapsed in Bangladesh in April killing more than 1,100 garment workers, the rescue response was agonizingly slow. Canadians watched their TV screens in disbelief as Bangladeshi friends and relatives struggled to move rubble in search of their loved ones -- work that would have fallen into the hands of capable and well-equipped rescue teams in Canada. So one would hope. Canadians should be aware, however, that in an era when all of us are increasingly prone to both natural and man-made disasters, the federal government has discontinued funding to Canada's primary disaster relief agency.
There's no truth to the idea being propagated by US retailers like Gap and Walmart that signing the Accord on Fire and Building
Canadians are not sitting back any more and taking bad corporate behaviour. We may have arrived at a tipping point where increasingly Canadians who have been shoved, are pushing back. The RBC "fire Canadians" story broke on a weekend. By the start of the week, politicians had heard from constituents across Canada. Over in Bangladesh, a garment factory collapsed in Rana Plaza, killing more than 700. And just because a videographer caught a glimpse of a Joe Fresh clothing label and some editor put that on Canadian television, suddenly Canada's best-known retail leader, Galen G. Weston, was all over the media.
The price of a piece of clothing is not at all indicative of the working conditions of its manufacturer. On top of that, implying (or outright saying) that there is something morally wrong with paying ten dollars for a t-shirt is incredibly classist. The truth is that when brand names charge higher prices for their items, that extra cash usually goes to two places: into the pockets of CEOs and other higher-ups, and into the company's advertising budget.
Let's stop asking whether a company should stay in Bangladesh or leave the country. Instead let's ask whether that company is willing to take steps to create stable jobs that are safe, where workers have the right to organize, and where they receive a living wage.