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Bangladesh fire victims still to get compensation year after tradegy: HRW

Dhaka, Dec 16 - Asia's Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that the survivors of the Bangladesh factory fire have still not been compensated, even after one year of the incident which killed at least 112 garment workers.

The brands that were sourcing garments from Tazreen Fashions should immediately join an International Labour Organization effort to fund full and fair compensation to all the injured and the families of the dead, HRW said.

The survivors of the November 24, 2012 fire at the Tazreen factory said that they have been forced to sell off their possessions to pay for treatment.

Asia Director at HRW Brad Adams said many retailers with production at the factory have not yet helped a group of very poor workers and their families.

Tazreen's workers made clothes for prominent international retailers including Walmart, Sears, Karl Reiker, and Teddy Smith.

Each company later said that garments were produced at Tazreen without their knowledge, HRW said.

Walmart was, indirectly, one of Tazreen's largest customers, even though it had officially cut ties with the factory after its inspectors uncovered many safety violations a year before, some documents revealed.

According to the Clean Clothes campaign, Karl Reiker claims it has given donations though its agents, while Piazza Italia and Edinburgh Woollen Mills have offered small voluntary donations.

Meaningful compensation has so far only been provided by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
(BGMEA), the Bangladesh government, the European retailer C and A, and Li and Fung of Hong Kong.

However, the injured workers, who received 1,267 dollars each, said that the money was insufficient and ran out after the first few months. (ANI)