Europe

Report examines grim Bangladesh leather trade, links to West

  • In this Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Bangladeshi people walk across a temporary bridge as smoke emits from tannery waste at the highly polluted Hazaribagh tannery area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pure Earth a nongovernmental organization that addresses industrial pollution put Hazaribagh on its Top 10 list of polluted places, along with Chernobyl, although similar problems of pollution and dangerous working conditions exist at tannery clusters in the Philippines and India as well. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    In this Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Bangladeshi people walk across a temporary bridge as smoke emits from tannery waste at the highly polluted Hazaribagh tannery area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pure Earth a nongovernmental organization that addresses industrial pollution put Hazaribagh on its Top 10 list of polluted places, along with Chernobyl, although similar problems of pollution and dangerous working conditions exist at tannery clusters in the Philippines and India as well. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, March 2, 2017 photo, a Bangladeshi man rides past a bicycle in front of the main entrance of the Apex tannery at the highly polluted Hazaribagh tannery area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries with workers as young as 14 supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for Western brands, a nonprofit group that investigates supply chains says. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    In this Thursday, March 2, 2017 photo, a Bangladeshi man rides past a bicycle in front of the main entrance of the Apex tannery at the highly polluted Hazaribagh tannery area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries with workers as young as 14 supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for Western brands, a nonprofit group that investigates supply chains says. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, a view of the highly polluted Hazaribagh tannery area is seen in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pure Earth a nongovernmental organization that addresses industrial pollution put Hazaribagh on its Top 10 list of polluted places, along with Chernobyl, although similar problems of pollution and dangerous working conditions exist at tannery clusters in the Philippines and India as well. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    In this Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, a view of the highly polluted Hazaribagh tannery area is seen in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pure Earth a nongovernmental organization that addresses industrial pollution put Hazaribagh on its Top 10 list of polluted places, along with Chernobyl, although similar problems of pollution and dangerous working conditions exist at tannery clusters in the Philippines and India as well. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)  (The Associated Press)

A nonprofit group says hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries with workers as young as 14 supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for a host of Western brands.

The report was released to The Associated Press on Friday by New York-based Transparentem, which investigates supply chains. It did not say leather from the tanneries ends up in American and European companies' products, only that the manufacturers of some of those goods receive it.

Some companies say the leather used in their products was imported from outside Bangladesh, and the manufacturers concur. Still, in response to the report most brands had switched factories, banned Bangladesh leather or demanded improvements.

The abuses alleged have long plagued a blighted neighborhood in Bangladesh's capital that is the hub of its leather industry.