“So We Exist”: A Photo Exhibition Shedding Light on Workers in the Shadows

Human Wrongs Watch

8 July 2015 (ILO)* On the occasion of the conference on ‘Regulating for Decent Work’ from 8-10 July 2015, the ILO is hosting an exhibition by Bangladeshi photojournalist Ismail Ferdous.


A female brickfield worker in Ashulia, near Dhaka, Bangladesh. With the recent boom in the construction industry, brickfields provide seasonal employment to thousands of migrant workers. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

The photo exhibition “So we exist” tells the stories of people in unreachable communities around the world working in fields such as construction and the leather industry.
It also depicts the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, labour migration in the Persian Gulf and modern-day slavery in Central America and South East Asia.

A construction worker on the tallest building in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Construction workers play an important part in the growth of Bangladesh’s economy, yet many lack training and social protection. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

Workers on their way to the garment factories in Chittagong, the largest port city of Bangladesh. More than four million people work in this industry. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

A rescue worker in the rubble of Rana Plaza, four days after the disaster. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

This woman came to look for her sister’s body 10 days after Rana Plaza collapsed. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

A woman farmer works in a cotton field in Suruc, Turkey, close to the border with Syria. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

A floating vegetable market in Dal Lake, Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, India. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

A child works in hazardous conditions in the leather industry. Hazaribag, Dhaka, Bangladesh. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

A woman worker arranges the processed leather pieces in a field so they can dry. Hazaribag, Dhaka. A large number of women work in the leather industry in Bangladesh. © Ismail Ferdous | Source: ILO

Official website of the photographer Ismail Ferdous 

*Source: International Labour Organization (ILO). Go to Original.

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

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