The International Labour Organisation (ILO) should intervene to improve safety in Chinese coal mines, following the deaths of 86 coal miners in a matter of weeks, according to the global union IndustriALL.

Thirty-two miners were reportedly killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine owned by the Baoma Mining Company in Northern China’s Inner Mongolia region on 3 December 2016. The previous month 22 miners were killed in a coal mine blast in the city of Qitaihe in the North Eastern province of Heilongjiang on 29 November, while a further 33 miners were killed in an explosion at a coal mine in the southwestern city of Chongqing on 31 October.

6. Chinese coal minesIn a letter to ILO Director General Guy Ryder, IndustriALL’s general secretary, Valter Sanches, said it is “imperative” the Chinese Government ratifies ILO’s Convention 176 on Safety and Health in Mines.

The letter also calls on the ILO to offer immediate technical assistance to China to help improve health and safety standards in the coal mines. In addition, IndustriALL said it is offering to provide any necessary political and technical support to the Chinese coal miners by sharing the expertise of its affiliated unions in the mining industry from around the world.