Bangladesh urged to release factory safety report

Activists urge Bangladesh government release factory safety report ordered after 2013 disaster.

Bangladesh urged to release factory safety report

World Bulletin / News Desk

The collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh in 2013 triggered international outrage but the government has failed to release the results of investigations into the garment industry, activists said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch called for the release of the government report about the structural, electrical and fire safety of Bangladesh's factories which was ordered following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory, which killed more than 1,100 people.

"Efforts to make the Bangladesh garment industry safer and protect the rights of workers will not succeed unless details of all factory inspections are made public," said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Asia's deputy director.

"Workers need this information so they can make informed decisions about whether it is safe to enter their factories."

Nazma Akhter, head of the garment labor activist group AWAJ Foundation, said: "To ensure better working conditions and safety, we demand that the inspection report be made public as soon as possible, so that the authorities concerned are able to start improving factory conditions."

Professor Mehdi Ahmed Ansari, a building inspection coordinator at the department tasked with producing a report, said they have submitted an initial report of 200 factories to the government, who must choose whether to make it public.

Under the agreement, a department at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology should inspect about 1,500 factories in phases of 200. Professor Ansari said it takes almost two to three months to survey 200 factories and prepare a report.

"We are now on the way for signing the agreement for the second phase," he said. "Since the International Labor Organization funds this program, all work actually starts after releasing the money. Adequate human resource is also a factor to expedite the job to complete in shortest possible time."

According to a Human Rights Watch report, the day before Rana Plaza collapsed, the apparel factories housed in it were evacuated due to the detection of several cracks in different parts of the building but some workers were forced to enter the building the next morning.

Last Mod: 29 Mayıs 2014, 14:46
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