Bangladesh

ILO Director-General's statement on the Aswad garment factory fire

Statement | 08 October 2013

The ILO is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life at Aswad Composite Mills and expresses its sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families.

This latest fire to affect the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh reflects the sad and shocking truth that not enough is being done to address the safety and health of garment factory workers.

Despite the staggering loss of life over the past years, workers are still dying for reasons that could well be avoided if decent working conditions were in place.

Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in April this year which killed more than1,100 people, the Bangladeshi government and its social partners have been collaborating to improve working conditions, strengthen labour inspections and upgrade building and fire safety in RMG factories around the country.

But all efforts and commitments will be in vain until they translate into concrete actions to avoid further loss of life or injury to workers. The ILO, as always, stands ready to assist the social partners.

The fire at Aswad Composite Mills should not be just the latest tragedy to beset the industry. It must be the last.