Human sweatbox captives


Laurence Sauvé

Human Sweatbox Captives


Did you know that behind the clothes you are wearing everyday, there are sad and dramatic stories ? How were they made, and by who ?


Indonesia, China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and even more. All these countries are full of injustice and forced labor, sweatboxes ruin their life, lack of ventilation, unsafe buildings, difficult access to clean water, nothing goes well. These people are attacked and sometimes killed only for asking for better work conditions.

Clothing factories are far to be a good place, people who work at these are constantly under danger, some even die at their work.


 Being forced to work with terrible wages is not a choice for them, it’s an obligation if they want to survive. They stay at their job 14 to 16 hours a day, and that is not even enough to live decently and healthy. They have no choice but to work some extra hours almost everyday, until three am.


In fact, sometimes extra hours aren’t paid, but if they refuse to do them, they risk their job and livelihood . Being fired for refusing overtime is a common thing in their country. 


They also get fired for some small things, if they are slowed down by pain, then they are not wanted anymore. Same things if they are injured or sick, even if they miss a day to go to the doctor, they might get fired. Sick leaves do not exist in these countries,this is unfortunate since working in these conditions often leads to injuries.


Kids are also working, forced labour as well, sometimes with their mom to help and get some money, other times alone because they have no other opportunity . At some point, people are forced to quit their regular jobs to go and collect cotton, children live the same, they are taken out of school to do so. 


‘’It is bad for them, they should go to school not to work, it’s sad to see them being mistreated.’’-Ania, a secondary 3 student. 


Some studies show that the minimum wage is way under the living wage, which is the minimum you need for a living. Workers even say that this lifestyle isn’t even suitable for a dog, far to be the healthy life every human needs.


‘’We work from 8 am till noon, then have our lunch break. After lunch we work from 1 to 5 pm. We do overtime every day, from 5.30 pm. During the peak season, we work until 2 or 3 am. Although exhausted, we have no choice. We cannot refuse overtime: our basic wage is too low. If we want to rest, our employer forces us to keep working”. 

-Phan, 22 years old machinist for a thaï garment factory.