The research is the result of over 470 interviews with workers in Australian fashion supply chains across Bangladesh and Vietnam, as well as over 130 interviews with factory owners, managers, union leaders and other key stakeholders and focus groups. It is the first full investigation of this kind into the lives of people in Australian garment supply chains. Among the stark results, Oxfam found:
- Nine out of ten workers interviewed in Bangladesh cannot afford enough food for themselves and their families, forcing them to regularly skip meals and eat inadequately, or go into debt.
- 72% of workers interviewed in Bangladesh factories supplying to major brands in Australia, and 53% in Vietnam, cannot afford medical treatment when they get sick or injured.
- 76% of workers interviewed in Bangladesh factories supplying to major brands in Australia have no running water inside their home, and more than 40% in Vietnam reported worrying about having to use well or rain water.
- In Bangladesh, one in three workers interviewed are separated from their children, with nearly 80% of those cases due to a lack of adequate income.
Report authors Joy Kyriacou, Nayeem Emran and Sarah Rogan from Oxfam Australia will present the research, as well as providing information about the commitments made by some large listed companies – and those that are still yet to match them.