Odhikar is appalled and dismayed at the news of the death of garment workers due to fire in an
Ashulia RMG factory near Dhaka on November 24, 2012. The death toll has already crossed 124
workers. This is not the first time that the workers have died in garment factories. Odhikar has
repeatedly raised the alarm about the lack of safe working conditions and inadequate legal means
to force the garment owners to comply with the conditions in order to strictly avoid such
recurrent horrific accidents.
Odhikar demands an independent investigation of the accident. People responsible for criminal
negligence should be identified and punished. The victims should be provided with all necessary
medical care and families who lost earning members should be adequately compensated.
It is important to note that the government has formed an Industrial Police Force to control and
suppress workers protests for better working conditions. However, such police force de facto act
as the private law enforcing agency of garment owners and there is no effective mechanism to
protect the workers.
statement-fire Ashulia RMG Factory-2012-eng (text of statement, PDF)