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28 Nov 2022

Bangladesh: Eleven years on, the fight for justice for Tazreen factory fire survivors continues

In November 2012, a fire broke out in the Tazreen Fashions garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The fire killed more than 117 workers and left 300 others with debilitating lifelong injuries sustained while jumping out of windows to escape. The factory lacked fire exits, the staircases and exits were obstructed, and the main door was locked from the outside. The survivors’ injuries have left them unable to find work and provide for their families. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2014, IndustriALL Global Union, Clean Clothes Campaign and C&A set up the Tazreen Claims Administration to pay for workers’ compensation and medical bills. Brands sourcing from the factory including Walmart, Kik, El Corte Ingles, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Piazza Italia, Disney, Sears, Dickies, Delta Apparel and Sean John have allegedly refused to pay into the fund or have only paid small amounts.

Labour activists have called for survivors to receive compensation equal to a lifetime’s earnings. However, ten years on, the survivors’ fight for justice, compensation and rehabilitation continues.