Statement by UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh, Tomoo Hozumi, on child deaths in factory fire
Dhaka, 11 July 2021 – “UNICEF mourns the children who lost their lives in a fire in a food processing factory in Rupganj, Bangladesh, on 8 July. We offer our deepest sympathies to the families of those who died, were injured, or remain unaccounted for. With over 50 casualties reported, as many as 16 or more of these may be children.
“As families continue to search for their missing children, UNICEF is working with the Government to dispatch social workers to support children and families in Rupganj.
“This tragic incident brings to light yet again that despite laws that should protect them, many children in Bangladesh are not only working, but they are working in hazardous conditions. According to the Bangladesh Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019, over four million children are working, and more than three million of these children are trapped in the worst forms of child labour that involve hazardous working conditions.
“The horrific deaths and suffering, which could have been avoided, are a stark reminder that all stakeholders must act now to protect children and must enforce compliance with the Children Act 2013, as well as child labour and occupational safety laws.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.bd