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10 Dez 2021


Asia: Report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on women garment workers two years on, incl. job losses, wage cuts, & workers’ rights abuses

"Casualties of Fashion: How Garment Workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia are Wearing the Cost of COVID-19", 10 December 2021


In a new report, Casualties of Fashion: How garment workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia are wearing the cost of COVID-19, ActionAid Australia in partnership with ActionAid country offices in Bangladesh and Cambodia have highlighted the devastating impact of the pandemic on garment workers in both countries.

Through interviews with 218 garment workers, the research has revealed how two years on from the start of the pandemic, the world’s leading fashion brands continue to push the costs of COVID-19 onto the women garment workers making their clothes.

Key research findings from the report include:

  • Most workers were earning well below the living wage before the pandemic hit
  • 13% of workers in Cambodia, of which 93% were from the Violet Apparel factory, and 36% in Bangladesh lost their jobs as a direct result of the pandemic – two-thirds of terminated workers didn’t receive any severance pay
  • Bangladesh: workers faced an average wage drop of 7.5%
  • Cambodia: on average terminated workers’ wages dropped by more than 25%
  • More than two-thirds of workers reported that their household has run out of money to buy food since the pandemic began
  • Nearly half of surveyed workers had to take on additional loans to cover basic household costs
  • 56% of workers in Cambodia and 28% in Bangladesh said that their rights at work have gotten worse since the pandemic began
  • Almost half of women workers in Cambodia, and one-third in Bangladesh reported experiencing harassment or violence at work.


ActionAid Australia is calling on Australian fashion brands to:

  • Publish and maintain a complete list of supplier factories they source from
  • Publicly commit to delivering a living wage for all workers in their supply chain
  • Negotiate directly with unions on an enforceable agreement on wage assurance and a severance guarantee fund to ensure that all workers employed during the COVID-19 crisis receive their full salaries and/or severance payments.