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US Fashion Lobby Calls for Release of Jailed Bangladesh Apparel Workers

Thousands were arrested or threatened with detention following demonstrations over changes to the country’s minimum wage for garment workers last fall.
Garment workers protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Protest over garment worker wages in Bangladesh last year led to a crackdown on labour rights. (Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The American Apparel & Footwear Association has called on Bangladesh to end a crackdown on labourers, following protests over changes to the country’s minimum wage for garment workers last fall.

More than 100 garment workers and labour advocates were jailed between October and November amid violent demonstrations, according to labour groups. Thousands more have been threatened with detention, according to AAFA.

In an open letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the US trade group called for protestors still held in detention to be released and for the government to investigate violence that led to the deaths of workers during the demonstrations.

Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest apparel producers and a increasingly significant supplier to the US market.

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