In Bangladesh, the leather industry is one of the most important economy. Most of the tanneries are based in the Hazaribag area, a densily populated neighborhood of Dhaka.
This industry employs thousand of workers supporting one of the poorest society of Asia. Big and small companies are located side by side making uncertain the distinction of them. Walking into the buildings you can end up in a store house, a production area or a small night shelter. Most of the time tanneries are family firm, handed down from one genertaion to the other, otherwise they are big corporations where you need permission to get in. Most of the leather is exported all over the world to produce handbags, shoes and other garments for fashion houses. But, this profitable industry hurts the environment strongly.
A huge amount of solid and liquid waste is dumped in the Buriganga river, which water is used to irrigate fields. Scraps of leather are left all around the area with other wastes causing a very unhealthy working and living environment. The laborers are equally harmed working in hazardous conditions. The lack of training on the use of chemicals and the inadequacy of safety equipments cause lots of injuries and deaths every year.
Nontheless, we can take for granted which will be the choice between having a job and not having it, in a poor country like Bangladesh.