Q & A: Ali Enterprises Fire in Karachi, Pakistan

Updated: December 7, 2012
Initial Release: September 20, 2012

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Social Accountability International’s (SAI) mission is to promote workers’ rights in a world often indifferent to them. All of us at SAI and at Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) are horrified by the fire at Ali Enterprises in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 11, in which nearly 300 workers died and many more were injured. On the day following the fire SAAS was informed by RINA, a global certification body based in Genova, Italy, that RINA had issued an SA8000 certification to the Ali Enterprises factory on August 20, 2012. 

SAAS, the accreditation agency that oversees the certification aspects of the SA8000 system, immediately began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the certification. We expect a full report to be issued in early 2013. In the interim, both SAI and SAAS have been working to take action to improve the overall SA8000 system; these specific actions are detailed in the questions and answers below.  

Many media reports in the days and weeks following the fire contained inconsistent factual information. After the fire, SAI issued a ‘Question & Answer’ (Q & A) document on September 20 to help sort through the inevitable confusion based on verified information. As our investigation is ongoing, we have updated this Q & A document to provide more detail and information to the extent that we know them at this time.

SAI Questions & Answers: Ali Enterprises Fire in Karachi, Pakistan