Kuala Lampur/Dhaka — Australian fashion companies use a “system of entrenched exploitation” that is trapping millions of garment workers in Bangladesh and Vietnam in poverty, campaigners said on Monday. Nine out of 10 garment workers in Bangladesh and over two-thirds of those in Vietnam cannot make ends meet, with wages as low as 55 Australian cents ($0.39) per hour, according to a study by charity Oxfam Australia. As a result, the workers, most of them women, often struggle to put enough food on the table and cannot pay for medical treatment when they are sick, Oxfam said. “If we don’t see changes soon, we will continue to see a fashion industry that is perpetuating and fuelling a system of poverty,” said Oxfam Australia’s advocacy manager Joy Kyriacou. “We will continue to see women who are running out of food and skipping meals every month, women who can’t live with their children because they can’t afford any childcare,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Sydn...

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