Dear Mr. Edward Lampert
Human Rights Watch is one of the leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. For 30 years, we have worked in over 90 countries to bring greater justice and security to people around the world and are recognized as an honest and informed interlocutor. We have worked on various issues linked to the protection of human rights in Bangladesh for over two decades.
We are currently doing research on the status of workers who were injured and family members of those who died due to the November 24, 2012 fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh, which killed at least 112 people. It is our goal to undertake thorough and objective research. To that end, we are seeking the views of your company.
We understand that you were one of Tazreen's customers. We would welcome clarification about your business relationship with Tazreen Fashions of Bangladesh.
We understand that your company is one of those which sourced garments from Tazreen, but to date we have not been able to confirm whether your company has contributed to the compensation fund. Can you elaborate on any contributions to the compensation fund?
The International Labor Organization and the IndustriALL Global Union have expressed their willingness to facilitate a system for compensating the Tazreen victims. Have you been contacted by those parties and do you plan to participate?
Can you also please elaborate on whether your company or other representatives in Bangladesh conducted any safety inspections of the factory on your behalf? If so, what did these inspections reveal? If you did not, why not?
We would welcome your responses by November 26, 2013 so that we are able to include your comments in our findings.
Thanking you in advance.
Asia director, Human Rights Watch