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Asian garment sector on the cusp of a “humanitarian crisis”
Planet Labor, 30 June 2020, n°12032 - www.planetlabor.com

An investigation conducted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) has reached an indisputable verdict: the anticipated impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the fashion and garment industry would represent a veritable “humanitarian crisis”. The first signs began to emerge as early as March, when a report indicated that, in Bangladesh, more than half of suppliers had experienced mass cancellations of orders, either completed or in production, as a result of the pandemic (see article n°11941), condemning hundreds of thousands of textile and clothing employees to temporary income suspensions or even unemployment, most often immediately and without compensation. It soon became clear that the phenomenon was affecting all the major countries of production in the garment sector. Despite corrective measures taken by some major international brands, particularly under pressure from specialised NGOs, the BHRRC now indicates that it is the “40 to 60 million” workers in the sector, the vast majority of whom are women and migrants from rural areas, who will be affected by this unprecedented crisis in the countries of the so-called Global South, particularly in Asia.

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