Made in Italy

MADE IN ITALY a documentary by Liza Boschin, Elena Marzano and Shafiur Rahman

RAI 3 Production

UPDATE OCTOBER 2015: Made in Italy wins first prize Pietri Di Donato awards.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2014: Made in Italy wins the Aretè prize



Summary: Secret camera recordings show that Italian clothes maker
Benetton uses suppliers who still employ child labour in Bangladesh. A
RAI 3 television investigation has revealed that months after the
collapse of garment factories in Rana Plaza where over 1100 people
died, serious health and safety measures have still not been addressed
including locked factory gates which can be deadly in the event of a
fire. The report shows that Benetton, one of Italy's best known clothing
brands, continues to flout good practice in Bangladesh and its
managers defending the use of child labour.

Details: RAI 3 TV journalists travelled to Bangladesh to investigate
how the garment industry works in Bangladesh. Using a secret camera,
they filmed Benetton country manager saying that

  1. Child labour would be sanctioned by priests.
  2. Child labour is only what happened in Italy 50 years ago
  3. Benetton only signed up to improve conditions because of public
  4. Benetton knew all along that they were producing in Rana Plaza
    despite the initial denial

The film also reveals that top category factories where Benetton roduces clothing have extremely unsafe working practices including
locked gates - a practice known to be responsible for scores of deaths
in the history of Bangladeshi garment factories.

The journalists talked to workers who remain without compensation
months after the disaster and live very difficult lives - physically,
psychologically and financially. The journalists were attacked during
the course of making the documentary when they were mistaken for
foreign buyers by workers running away from police fire.

Union officials and workers told the journalists how they are subject to
harassment by hired thugs and the police and that establishing rights
for the ordinary worker is extremely difficult.

Background: On April 24th 2013, the Rana Plaza Building in Savar
collapsed causing the deaths of more than 1100 garment factory
workers and over 2000 injured. The building hosted garment factories
producing for household
brands including Primark, Mango, Walmart and Benetton. The tragedy
brought to light the continuing unsafe working conditions of millions
of Bangladeshi people working in the textile industry.


" It was beyond imagination that the industrialists, in their pursuit of
profit, would stir up such a moment, comparable to a war, where
people are gunned down."
Kazi Ruhul Amin. General Secretary, Garment Workers Trade Union

“On the 24th, since (Rana Plaza) was so badly cracked, nobody
wanted to go inside (…) but supervisors forced us to get to work. Many
of us where beaten and brought inside.”
Nasrin, former New Wave Style employee, a Benetton subcontractor,
and Rana Plaza survivor.

"When we unionists go to discuss with factory owners
and government representatives about wages, when we ask why they
are not allowed to do trade unions, why female workers are being
harassed, why there is no democratic law act for workers , soon
enough we end up being falsely prosecuted, harassed or even killed”
Mishu Moshrefa, president of Garments Workers Unity Forum


Original Broadcast:

Liza Boschin, Journalist,
Tel: +39 380669220 Twitter: @lizaboschin
Shafiur Rahman, Producer Bangladesh,
Tel: +44 7880501913 Twitter: @shafiur