Thursday, June 20, 2013

The legacy of sweatshop production

These young women, aged from 16 to 30, are among the 1,130 survivors of the Rana Plaza garment factory building that collapsed in April in Savar, Bangladesh. Rescuing people trapped in cement rubble required civilian rescuers with no medical training to perform on-the-spot amputations with what was available--butcher knives & hacksaws without anesthesia. Don’t even try to imagine the horror! This is now considered the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry--& that would be an understatement!

These young women, now all amputees missing one or more limbs, all posed for photos at the Enam Medical College in Savar near Dhaka where they are being treated & recovering. In what can only be called a mockery of reality, the media caption to these portraits said, “Bangladesh’s government & garment manufacturers are campaigning to close dangerous factories & to make safety a priority for the country’s most valuable export industry.”

How about we take their mockery & shove it where the sun don’t shine! How about we do everything in our powers to educate about & oppose the horrors of the sweatshop production system!? The photos of these young women is not to induce pity but to generate solidarity & outrage. They did not deserve this & we have no right to cheap underwear at their expense!

(Photos by Kevin Frayer/AP)

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