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26 Sep 2016

Anusha Bradley, Radio New Zealand

Workers rights group allege H&M's supply chains unsafe for workers, company says workers' safety is of utmost importance

"Fashion victims: the true cost of H&M clothing", 26 Septmeber 2016

H&M is facing accusations of child labour and factory conditions that are unsafe for workers...Workers Rights Constortium said hundreds of thousands of workers making H&M garments in factories in Bangladesh were doing so in dangerous conditions...The problem is shared by many major clothing brands, and another charity organisation rated H&M's efforts to avoid worker exploitation higher than some local brands such as Glassons, Ezibuy and Pumpkin Patch...Baptist World Aid Australia, which grades fashion companies each year on the steps they take to stop the exploitation of garment workers in the factories they use, said H&M was better than most fashion houses...journalists Moa Kärnstrand and Tobias Andersson Åkerblom spent weeks talking to factory workers in Myanmar who made clothes for H&M. They found girls as young as 14 working 12-hour days in two factories outside Rangoon, in breach of Myanmar law and international labour conventions....In a statement the company said it was "of utmost importance" that its products were made under good working conditions and it had taken action on the two suppliers in Myanmar that it had identified as having had problems with ID cards and overtime...These are challenges that all brand signatories are facing and they are not specific to H&M," the company said.