Violence against Bangladeshi workers

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Jan 12 2007 13:36
Violence against Bangladeshi workers

THE DAILY STAR 12 Jan. 2007

BILS Survey
947 workers killed at workplace
Bss, Dhaka

At least 947 working people were killed and 3,650 others injured in various accidents and violent occurrences at their workplaces in the country in 2006.

Of the killed and injured, 121 and 740 were women respectively. The number of violated working women was 48, of whom, nine were murdered after rape.

The Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) revealed the findings after a survey conducted on the basis of news stories published in the various national dailies.

According to the survey report released here yesterday, 845 workers were killed and 3,018 injured in various occupational accidents while 129 were killed and 632 injured in violent occurrences.

The number of deceased fishermen was the highest as over 500, of them, fishermen drowned in the deep sea in the catastrophic cyclone in September 2006. More than 1500 fishermen were injured in the sudden natural disaster. They also lost all of their belongings in the sea.

The second highest number of incidents of killings and injuries took place in the garments sector where at least 141 workers were killed and 1,578 injured in various accidents and violence.

Of them, 65 garment workers were killed in a lone fire incident in February in Chittagong. Among the deceased, 47 were female adolescents. The number of violated working women was 31. Of whom, four were murdered after rape.

Nine garment workers were gang-rapped near Dhaka. A pregnant garment worker received a kick on her abdomen on a factory floor.

The construction sector was in the third position of the casualties list. At least 107 workers were killed and 195 injured in violence and accidents in the sector. Wall and building collapses, mudslides and fall from rooftops caused the major accidents.

At least 35 domestic servants died in the reporting year due to torture and cruel behaviour by their employers. At least 31 were injured and 13 violated by the employers or their relations.

Army officers, teachers, lawyers, physicians, businessmen and a religious leader were in the list of persecutors of the housemaids. Among the victims, more than 50 percent were child domestic help.
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Syndicalist note: The BILS website can be found:http://www.bils-bd.org/main.html