By Malayanil @themalayanil
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Workers as young as 11 often become seriously ill because of the chemicals released when the material is manufactured.
The Hazaribagh neighbourhood in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, is well known for its tannery industry - producing 15million sq ft of leather every year.
Children employed in the trade operate without safety measures and sometimes work shifts of more than 12 hours a day.
Miraj, 11, said "My mother forces me to do work in the tannery. I earn 3,000 Taka (£25) per month and my mother use this amount for our house rent."
Talat, 18, who has worked in the industry since he was 13, said: “The water in the pits is extremely toxic and it gives me burns every time it touches my skin.”
According to the country's 2006 Labor Law, the minimum legal working age in Bangladesh is 14.
But it is common for children far younger than that to be found working in the trade so they can support their families.
Ibrahim, 14, said: "My father is a rickshaw puller, he can't afford to pay my family expenses. So I left my education when I was in class five and started working here.
"Now I am paying my two sisters educational expenses from my salary."
Solayman, 17, said ''Without any safety we work here only for our family living. Sometimes we feel sick working in this toxic environment but we need to work there."
Roughly 20,000 people are employed in the neighbourhood’s 270 tanneries, and the typical wage is around £25 a month - with women earning less than men.
Sabina began working in one of the leather tanneries after she got married, because her husband couldn't afford to support the family alone.
She fears that exposure to the toxic chemicals could lead to their early deaths.
Sabina said: “My husband and I have similar working hours and conditions but I get only roughly £19 per month.
“Both of us would die working here.”
Alongside the reports of underage labour and low wages, the industry has also been accused of seriously damaging the local environment.
According to a 2012 report by Human Rights Watch, every day the tanneries collectively dump 22,000 cubic litres of toxic waste into Dhaka’s main river the Buriganga - which serves as a main water supply.
Air pollution is caused by recyclers who burn scraps of leather to produce consumer products.