Migrant Workers

Nazma Atker on Rana Plaza

30 December 2014

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

The Bangladeshi activist Nazma Akter started working at a garment factory in 1984 at the age of 11. Three years later, she protested against the conditions garment workers faced. In 1994, she decided to stop working in garment factories, and dedicated herself to improving working conditions for her co-workers.

In 2003, she formed the organisation AWAJ, which is Bengali for Voice. In recent years, she has been a consistent voice of conscience, reminding western consumers and brands of their responsibility towards the workers who make the clothes worn in Western countries.

Nazma spoke to IHRB's Salil Tripathi in Bangladesh, at her busy office, about the Rana Plaza and Tazreen tragedies, the international responses - Accord and Alliance - and reinforced the importance of consumer activism.

Latest IHRB Publications

Responsible Recruitment - Turning Principles into Practice

Today an estimated 21 million individuals still face conditions of what the United Nations refers to as ‘modern’ forms of slavery. Of that number, 14 million individuals are victims of labour exploitation specifically.

Such violations of...

Beyond a Simple Trading of Powers: An Alternative Future for the Global Mining Industry?

Observers of the mining industry, including those who are watching from the inside, have witnessed a growing demand for governments to safeguard people and the environment, and for business leaders to take greater responsibility in the prevention...

Caveat Emptor – Why Companies Should Avoid Tendering for Offshore Refugee Processing

In a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, the Australian government has created an island of despair, where refugees fleeing persecution are trapped and live in appalling conditions, while companies are awarded lucrative contracts to manage their...