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What is behind the "made in Bangladesh"

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PLEASE NOTE: This guide was originally written in French. If you are using the English version of our site, you will see an automatic translation. You can change the language from the menu in the site header or see our English language guides here.

One year after the Rana Plaza tragedy, have the working conditions of workers really changed? Let's take a closer look at what is really behind the labels of the clothes we wear!
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“One year after the collapse of the Rana Plaza which killed more than 1,100 textile workers and left more than 2,000 injured in the suburbs of Dhaka, Bangladesh, there is still much to be done in terms of safety and respect for the labor law, but unprecedented advances have taken place in terms of wages. "
Source: RFI
It's about Bangladesh's worst industrial disaster, poor country in South Asia which “has made clothing the backbone of its economy. The disaster revived the controversy over working conditions in this sector - which mainly employs women working for less than $ 40 a month for Western brands - and has stoked the anger of workers who have forced factories to close. "
Source: The express
The following activities will allow your students to learn more about the collapse of Rana Plaza and will thus be able to better compare the progress, or not, following this event that rocked Bangladesh last year.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Relate the facts about the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh;
- Observe the progress in terms of the remuneration of textile workers;
- Better understand the reality of Bangladeshi workers;
- Identify the dangers still present in this country that make our clothes;
- Participate in the #insideout social movement on social media.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Rana Plaza, reminder of events

Present this short video report recounting some of the highlights of the Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013.
Display the interactive file below to continue discussions and ensure that all students have the same knowledge.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

Download the file in SMART Notebook (.notebook) format
No BIT? Download the SMART Notebook version and open it using
of the online application SMART Notebook Express.

Continue by asking them to work in small work teams to find more information such as:
- The context of the collapse;
- Details of the disaster;
- The type of assistance provided to the victims;
- The companies concerned;
- The results of the collapse;
- The repercussions a year later.

Suggest that the students present the results of their research using the online presentation tool Haikudeck. Quickly, they will be able to record their information in a few words and will be able to share their creations in one of the different formats available on this free platform, both on computer and on mobile tablet. If necessary, consult next article to find out how to revitalize and simplify a presentation with Haiku Deck.

ACTIVITY 2: Debate: Who is responsible for the collapse?

Invite students to discuss different points of view regarding the collapse of the Bangladesh Textile Factory. Since there are several stakeholders involved, students will need to properly document themselves before taking on one of the following roles:
a) Bangladeshi workers
b) Western manufacturers
c) Consumers
d) The country Bangladesh
e) Etc.
Place the students in teams of 2 or 3 students and ask them to debate during short question periods of varying length according to the time available (5 to 10 minutes per team). Write on the board the arguments made by each of the groups of people involved in the debate.

ACTIVITY 3: Show your colors #insideout

Introduce the students to the initiative Fashion Revolution Day which emerged on social media, several months following the collapse in Bangladesh on Twitter especially. This global initiative aims to shake the reputation of the large textile companies which sometimes tiptoe out of Bangladesh, which has become too exposed to the media to settle in Laos, Cambodia or Ethiopia, for example.
Continue by presenting the page French-speaking Facebook movement in order to present some self-portrait photographs (selfies) taken with clothing worn inside out to photograph the clothing label and country of manufacture.
Source: The communicating blog
Finally, invite the students to join the movement by doing like thousands of other Internet users and to post their photographs on Instagram using the following keywords @Fash_Rev and #InsideOut.

More about the magazine

Dhaka disaster: "Brands are responsible"
Liberation, May 10, 2013
Rana Plaza collapse
Wikipedia article
A year after the Rana Plaza, Auchan targeted by a complaint in France
Le Monde, April 24, 2014
The Rana Plaza, one year later
Le Devoir, April 24, 2014
One year after the Rana Plaza tragedy, security at Bangladeshi factories has not improved
Le Monde, April 22, 2014

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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