Pakistan: European Center for Constitutional & Human Rights calls for criminal investigation of KiK & RINA over garment factory fire

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Article
30 May 2016

Pakistan: Resumption of Baldia factory fire compensation talks welcomed

Author: Daily Times [Pakistan]

The international level talks on the issue of compensation to the affectees of Ali Enterprises fire tragedy are welcomed, noted a general body meeting of the Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association (AEFA)....A large number of the heirs of the martyred workers and affectees were present in the meeting that was specially attended by legal experts Dr Remo Klinger, Attorney at Law, Germany; Dr Caroline Terwindt, Senior Legal Adviser ECCHR, Dr Miriam Saage-Maab, Vice Legal Director ECCHR, and Tara Scally from Clean Clothe Campaign, Netherlands....The representatives of the affectees praised the role of mediator of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and termed the resumption of talks for the payment of compensation as an important development. They thanked the participants of the Asia Living Conference in Islamabad for observing a one-minute silence in the memory of the Ali Enterprises martyrs and expressing solidarity with them....The meeting thanked the trade unions, labour organisations and governments of Germany and Holland for their efforts to persuade the German brand KIK to resume talks. It reiterated that the most important stakeholder are the affectees, represented by the association of Ali Enterprises Factory affectees; therefore, their participation in any talks or agreement is a must.

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Article
10 September 2014

[PDF] Second Anniversary of Fire Disaster in Pakistan Textile Factory - KiK stalling on further compensation: Victims prepare to launch lawsuit in Germany

Author: Clean Clothes Campaign, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights & medico international

Immediate aid: check; long term compensation: still outstanding – that’s the status of negotiations between KiK and survivors and surviving dependants of the fire in the Ali Enterprises textile factory in Pakistan two years ago. 254 people died and 55 were injured in the catastrophe on 11 September 2012. German textile discounter KiK, the factory’s biggest client, made an immediate relief payment following the fire but has been stalling during negotiations on long term compensation...“KiK has been dragging its feet on these negotiations for almost a year,” says Frauke Banse from the Clean Clothes Campaign...The case is not just about the money. “The victims are looking for justice. They want KiK to finally acknowledge responsibility for its overseas supply operations,” says Miriam Saage- Maaß from the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights...and...medico international are supporting six families through the legal proceedings surrounding the incident and in the preparation of a lawsuit in Germany...

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Company response
27 May 2014

RINA's response to European Center for Constitutional & Human Rights' call for criminal investigation of KiK & RINA over Pakistan garment factory fire

Author: RINA

We have no knowledge of the existence of any connection between the activities of RINA and the cause of the fire, which is currently unknown. The audit carried out more than two months before the event…did not reveal any shortcomings with regard to safety and fire prevention measures…The information and evidence collected during the audit demonstrated the availability of emergency exits, evacuation plans and fire prevention and extinction measures…The certification body is not in a position to verify day-to-day implementation of the system, and its assessment is no substitute for the enforcement of local regulations on workplace safety, which remains the responsibility firstly of the company and secondly of the local competent authorities…RINA strongly maintains that its activity did not contribute to the fire through failure to take action on safety standards.

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Article
27 May 2014

[PDF] Factory Fire in Karachi [Pakistan]

Author: KiK

We already contacted ECCHR directly to learn on what evidence their allegations are based in detail. We on principle appreciate and support any investigation that will promote clarification in this tragic accident that left us sad and shocked…In a procedure in line with the industry standard we audited, qualified and re-audited the factory four times by an independent third party until no fire safety findings were left. The latest audit has been done in December 2011. Shortly before the fire the factory obtained the ambitious SA 8000 certificate. We placed our orders in doubtlessness and good faith as any prevention in terms of fire protection has been installed at Ali Enterprises…We are well aware of the important role of international buyers in the textile industry and will keep on supporting local employers and governments in their efforts to create safe workplaces…

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Company response
24 May 2014

Response by Kik: re calls for criminal investigation into 2012 factory fire

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Article
15 May 2014

[DOC] Factory Fire in Karachi: ECCHR calls for investigation against KiK [Pakistan]

Author: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited KiK and RINA to respond. Response provided.]...ECCHR has submitted a brief to the High Court of Sindh in Karachi calling for investigations to be broadened in the criminal proceedings against Ali Enterprises, the owner of the destroyed Karachi clothing factory. 289 workers died in a fire at the factory in September 2012, while hundreds more were injured…ECCHR calls on the court to expand the scope of the proceedings and examine the role played by European companies KiK and RINA. “There is evidence to suggest that KiK and RINA contributed to the fire through their failure to take action on safety standards”, said Miriam Saage-Maaß from ECCHR. “Under international human rights norms, the Pakistani authorities have a duty to examine the evidence and, where appropriate, to hold these international companies to account”…

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