"Skin Deep: Feeding the Global Lust for Leather"

"Leather processing is big business in Bangladesh, India, and other parts of the developing world, where regulations are lax and poisons run freely."

"As 2016 marched to a close, rumors and panic raced through the leather tanneries in the Hazaribagh neighborhood of Dhaka. After years of extensions and delays, the government would finally require the remaining 150 or so tanneries in this historically unregulated and polluted corner of Bangladesh’s capital city to shutter. Any tanners who wanted to remain in business would have to relocate to a planned industrial park in Savar, a community roughly 14 miles away.

Authorities vowed to cut off utilities, blockade roads to prevent shipments of raw hides from entering Hazaribagh, go door-to-door to roust disobedient tanners, and revoke the licenses of all who defied their orders.

Days before the deadline, Mohammad Shohorab Hossain Jhony, a director of FFM Leather Complex, scrolled through his smartphone to show a friend photographs of his new facility under construction at the Tannery Estate Dhaka at Savar — a concrete slab, two walls, no roof, just 40 percent completed. Weighing the loss of his license against six months of lost production while the Savar building was finished, Jhony said he would be forced to close, at least temporarily, putting 70 to 100 men out of work. If they chose not to follow him to the industrial park, a six-hour round-trip commute in bumper-to-bumper Dhaka traffic, some might never return to FFM."

Debbie M. Price reports for Undark with visuals by Larry C. Price February 21, 2017.

Source: Undark, 02/21/2017