Home

Factory collapse kills many in Bangladesh

11 April 2005
The BBC reports that at least 17 people have been killed and more than 100 are feared trapped after a nine-storey factory building collapsed in Savar, 32km (20 miles) north-west of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Working conditions in Bangladesh's textile factories have long been a source of controversy. A lively debate on the topic took place in openDemocracy last year, with Anita Roddick calling for a campaign for accountability. Farida Khan agreed with Anita Roddick that working conditions in many Bangladeshi factories continued to be appaling, but differed with her as to the best way forward. Naila Kabeer, whose work on women's conditions in Bangladesh has been praised by the novelist Monica Ali and others, sharply criticised what she saw the fuzziness of Roddick's good intentions, which - she argued- didn''t pay due regard to the likely outcomes of campaigns. Kabeer wrote: What workers need is to know that it is possible to protest without the fear of immediate dismissal. There is a law to that effect in Bangladesh but it is observed mainly in the breach. Yet this is a fundamental precondition for the right to organise. I would suggest that if the goal is to improve women’s capacity to speak for and organise themselves, then high-profile campaigns targeting individual companies are not the best way to achieve it. International solidarity would have more positive and lasting effects if it were focused on providing human rights and other organisations in Bangladesh with the support and resources they need to publicise workers’ rights and to take employers to court when these rights are violated. About 1.8 million people work in Bangladesh's 2,500 garment factories. This most recent tragedy makes the debate ever more pressing.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData