The sewing factories of the garment industry in Bangladesh gained sad fame with the catastrophe of Rana Plaza seven years ago. Since then, working conditions there remain poor and violate human rights, especially those of women.
Germany also imports tobacco from Bangladesh. In the tobacco supply chain, too, women are affected by numerous human rights violations – as are children working on the fields. Germany is the fifth largest importer of raw tobacco from Bangladesh with a volume of 7.21 million US dollars (2018). Bangladesh mainly exports Virginia tobacco, which is dried over hot tubes in large kilns. To heat these kilns, fuel is needed. And this is where the circle is complete: farmers either clear the surrounding forest to gain firewood or they buy shredded clothes as fuel.
Farida Akhter, human rights and tobacco control activist of the non-governmental organization UBINIG, will give insights into the supply chains of clothes and tobacco and describe links between them.