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25 Apr 2022

Bangladesh: Nine years on from the Rana Plaza collapse, survivors’ health deteriorates and labour groups call for brands to sign the International Accord

24 April 2022 marks the ninth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed at least 1,134 people, and injured over 2,000. Nine years on, a survey shows survivors' physical and mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic, with 65.5% stating their physical condition has worsened, and 48.5% reporting they are still in trauma. The workers also struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic, with 90% unable to get any financial support.

Survivors of the collapse and families of those who died staged protests, calling for long-term compensation and rehabilitation. They also expressed frustration over the delay in the murder case filed over the collapse, with only one witness out of 594 so far testifying.

Labour groups and global unions, including UNI Global Union and IndustriALL, have called on brands to sign onto the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Garment and Textile Industry, a legally binding agreement that continues and expands the work of the Accord agreement established in 2013 in response to the collapse, to improve factory safety in Bangladesh's garment industry. The International Accord seeks to extend that work further, by expanding the programme to other countries.