Advice & Assistance
Researh & Briefings
Deaths, Inquests & Prosecutions
Corporate  Crime & safety Database
Safety Statistics
Obtaining Safety Information
CCA Responses to Consultation Documents
CCA Advocacy
CCA Press Releases
CCA Publications
Support the CCA
Search the CCA site
Contact Us
Quick Links ->
Press Releases
Other Press Releases
What's New on CCA Site
Home Page

International Labour Organisation asks Bangladesh government to respond to criticisms of Factory Inspectorate set out in CCA report

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has asked the Bangladesh Government to respond to a report which sets out serious inadequacies in the manning and operation of the Factory Inspectorate - the key state body in Bangladesh which is responsible for enforcing health and safety law.

To read more about health and safety law in Bangladesh
and its enforcement, click here

The report – written and researched jointly by the Centre for Corporate Accountability and the Bangladesh based, Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) – was submitted to the ILO's 'Committee of Experts' in August 2006 by a coalition of trade unions.The ILO responded to the report this month.

To read more about the ILO Committee of Experts, click here

The research report looked at the extent to which the Factory Inspectorate was in compliance with the requirements set out in ILO’s “Labour Inspection Convention”.

The report showed for example that:

in 2006, the number of employed inspectors responsible for either health or safety in either factories or docks was only 20
This number was lower than the number of inspectors that were employed in 1984;
This decrease in the number of inspectors was in contrast with the 67% increase in the number of registered premises and 140% increase in the number of workers between 1984 and 2006;
in the office there are four ‘safety’ inspectors and three “health” inspectors responsible for 11,665 premises.
in Chittagong office for the last two years there have only been three active inspectors (none of whom undertake occupational health inspections) responsible for 4851 premises
There is no dock labour inspector for the port in Mongla.

To download copy of the of the report, click here.

The report showed that in Dhaka, for example, the region where there are the most health and safety inspectors, a factory still only has a 1 in 729 chance each year of receiving both an inspection relating to “occupational health/welfare” issues and an inspection relating to “safety” issues.

The report also set out significant problems in training, equipment and transport facilities.

In its response to the report, published recently, the ILO’s ‘Committee of Experts’ asked the government to provide it with further information on inadequacies relating to number of inspectors, lack of training, and lack of equipment.

To see ILO response, click here

David Bergman, Director of the Centre for Corporate Accountability said:

"There is a real opportunity now for the Government, with the assistance of the ILO and donor bodies, to recognise that the Inspectorate needs not only very significant extra resources but also deep seated reform. Bangladesh workers deserve an Inspectorate able and capable of protecting their health and safety - and the Government has an obligation to provide that protection."

Repon Chowdhury, Executive Director of Bangladesh Occupational Safety Health and Environment Foundation said:

“We want the Government to respond positively to the ILO response – and treat it as an opportunity for fundamental reform of the Factory Inspectorate. In order for the health and safety of workers to be safeguarded, and for the ILO and Government's 'decent work' agenda to be upheld, this country must have a proper functioning Factory Inspectorate with an adequate number of properly trained inspectors with sufficient equipment and resources to ensure that health and safety law is applied. This is not the case now. The conditions of work of many Bangaldeshi workers are very hazardous and their right to a health and safety workplace must not be forgotten by this Government.”

The trade unions that submitted the report to the ILO's Committee of Experts are: Jatiya Sramik League, the Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra, the Jatiya Sramik Federation Bangladesh, the Jatiyo Sramik Jote, the Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress, the Bangladesh Labour Federation and the Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik Federation.

To top

The Centre for Corporate Accountability is a human rights charity advising those bereaved from work-related deaths, and working on issues of safety, law enforcement and corporate accountability.

For Press Enquiries
Centre for Corporate Accountability

London: 0207 490 4494
Bangladesh: 00 88 (0) 171 547 4150



Home -> About the CCA
Page last updated on May 2, 2007