15-year-old Bithi has been working at a garment factory for the past three years. She is one of four million Bangladeshi children that are employed. Bithi longs to be at school with girls her own age, but she already feels it is too late.
The needle hums, fingers fly and piles of cloth are stitched together at record speed.
“60 pockets an hour,” the 15-year-old behind the sewing machine quietly tells us. Squished inside a second story room with 20 other Bangladeshi women, the girl hunches over her machine while fluorescent lights beam hard overhead.
Bithi is one of the thousands of Bangladeshi children piecing together designer jeans that she’ll never be able to afford. Crippling poverty and a sick father has forced Bithi’s family to send their two eldest daughters to the garment factories to sew clothes that will be sold in shops in Canada, the United States and other high-income countries.