3 years on from Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - little improvements in health & safety conditions

24 April marks the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,134 people and injured over 2,000 others. The collapse of the eight-story building, which housed five garment factories supplying global brands, is one of the worst industrial accidents to date. The rights and safety of workers are in greater focus now than arguably ever before, but progress in fixing problems in the supply chain is slow, experts and activists say.

What progress has been made since the disaster, and what still remains to be done - read the story

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Article
5 October 2017

Bangladesh: Human Rights Watch urges govt. to publish reports on fire and building safety inspections of factories

Author: Prothom Alo Bangladesh

"Govt should publish reports on factories it inspects: HRW", 22 Sep 2017

Following a fire in Munshiganj, Human Rights Watch has urged Bangladesh to publish its inspection reports on how factories terminated from the Accord and Alliance are faring...[O]ver the past few years, the accord brands cut ties with 76 garment factories that failed to make their buildings safer. Similarly, the alliance brands terminated business with 158 garment factories. These factories are now the responsibility of government inspectors...Earlier this year, the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a legally binding agreement between clothing brands and unions, was renewed. The accord covers more than 1,600 garment factories. Under the revised agreement, the accord steering committee can opt in textile mills. This means the mills could also be subject to fire and building safety inspections, and management and workers could be trained on safety measures...

 

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Article
23 April 2016

Only 31 RMG factories fully remediated 3 years after Rana Plaza disaster

Author: Ibrahim Hossain Ovi, Tribune [Dhaka]

Three years after the Rana Plaza disaster, only 31 RMG factories have fully completed the remediation process of improving safety and compliance as per international standards. According to the latest information, a total of 3,768 RMG units have been inspected by the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, and National Initiative. The remaining inspected factories are at different stages of repair works and improvements in safety – encompassing fire, electrical and structural safety – and compliance. Some have made significant progress and others are at the final stage, awaiting approval from the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE). Of the 31 factories that completed remediation works, 24 manufacture products for Alliance signatory brands and 7 for Accords signatory brands.

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Article
23 April 2016

Three years after Rana Plaza – Bangladesh’s garment sector still unsafe

Author: Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, NYU Stern Center for Business & Human Rights

Three years later, labor rights enforcement failures remain widespread, and Bangladesh is far from achieving the declared objective of a safe and sustainable garment sector...As the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights’ recent yearlong research reportrevealed, there are more than 7,000 garment factories in Bangladesh producing for the global fashion industry, 65% more than previous estimates. More than half of these factories are small and medium-sized indirect sourcing factories, meaning their workers produce for foreign brands through other, larger factories. These factories operate in the shadows. The result is that millions of workers in subcontracting factories fall outside the protection of the Accord and the Alliance, and are especially vulnerable in a country where unsafe working conditions are a chronic problem. 

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Article
23 April 2016

Trial of two cases yet to start

Author: Daily Star

The trial for the killing of more than a thousand people in Rana Plaza collapse three years ago is yet to begin...The case filed for the violation of building codes in the construction of the nine-storey Plaza has been facing a similar fate...However, charges were pressed in June last year against the accused in both the cases upon completion of the investigations...The hearing on the charge framing is scheduled for April 28. The accused are expected to be produced on the day before the trial court where the cases were transferred in March last year, said a court source. The delay in holding the trial was mainly caused by the labor ministry's refusal to give permission for accusing in the charge sheet three of its officials -- Deputy Chief Inspector (mills and factories) Jamsedur Rahman and inspectors (engineering) Yusuf Ali and Shahidul Islam, said a source in the Session Judge's Court in Dhaka.

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Article
22 April 2016

Cases over Rana Plaza collapse see little progress in three years

Author: www.bdnews24.com

At least 1,135 people were killed and over 2,500 injured when the eight-storey building, housing five garment factories, at Savar on the outskirts of capital Dhaka collapsed on Apr 24, 2013. Savar police opened a case of culpable homicide and Capital Development Authority (RAJUK) filed another case for the structural fault in the construction of the building the same day. A total of 41 persons have been named in the police case while the number of accused persons in the RAJUK case is 18. Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana, his parents and 14 others stand accused in both the cases. Two Dhaka courts are scheduled to hear the first two cases on Apr 28 and fix the date for framing charges. The Anti Corruption Commission, too, prosecuted Rana, his parents and several others in 2014 alleging irregularities in the construction.

 

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Article
21 April 2016

'Rana Plazas everywhere': Danger still haunts Bangladesh

Author: AFP

As they jostle for space on the floor, with the door to their fire escape padlocked, the seamstresses cannot help but recall the carnage when another of Bangladesh's garment factories collapsed three years ago...We always worry what will happen if a blaze breaks out or the building caves in," one woman worker told AFP on condition of anonymity. "We'll just die like the workers of Rana Plaza...But three years on, only a fraction of Bangladesh's 4,500 clothes factories have been certified safe and experts warn another industrial disaster could happen at any time....While there have been improvements at some of the larger factories, many of the smaller sub-contractors have yet to be inspected and appear to have done little to address safety concerns.

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Article
21 April 2016

After Rana Plaza: creating a health and safety culture in Bangladesh

Author: Roz Sanderson, SHP

On the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, Rob Wayss, the Accord’s executive director, talks to James Irwin, head of health & safety recruitment at Acre about progress on one of the Accord’s core commitments: setting up democratically elected safety committees in factories.

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Article
21 April 2016

ANALYSIS - Three years after Rana Plaza disaster, has anything changed?

Author: Rina Chandran, Thompson Reuters Foundation

Three years after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 factory workers, the rights and safety of workers are in greater focus, but progress in fixing problems in the supply chain is slow, experts and activists say...More than 40 defendants face charges over the disaster, but about 24 of the accused have absconded..The disaster led to the creation of two international coalitions designed to assess and help fund improvements to building and fire safety at thousands of garment factories in Bangladesh...But nearly three years on, about 70 percent of those plans are behind schedule, according to data on its website..."While compensation for victims became a priority after the disaster, the perennial problems of safety, health and prevention still need to be addressed," said Gopinath Parakuni, general-secretary of non-profit Cividep India...Every factory is still a tinder box, and effective ways to ensure day-to-day safety are still not in place," he said...As well as companies and governments, consumers are getting involved in the campaign for greater supply-chain transparency.

 

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Article
21 April 2016

Fast fashion is crucial to Bangladesh. So what’s changed since the Rana Plaza disaster?

Author: Debbie Coulter, Ethical Trading Initiative

So what’s happened since then? Has the situation improved? And what lessons have been learnt...

It’s safe to say that Rana Plaza and the less well publicised Tazreen fashion factory fire that left over 100 dead in 2012, acted as wake-up calls to the garment industry...They galvanised global companies and brands to address the systemic health, safety and labour issues that riddled the industry...But here are two main issues:

  • Addressing occupational health and safety.
  • Promoting worker rights including freedom of association.

Strong health and safety provision. Decent wages. Better terms and conditions of employment. Freedom of association. They all have to be delivered. That’s going to take more time and effort. And most importantly it’s going to take even more collaboration...Between local factory owners and their workforce, with global brands and companies, and in partnership with strong trade unions and committed local NGOs.

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Article
21 April 2016

Need to uphold garment workers' rights

Author: www.fibre2fashion.com

Ahead of the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed over 1000 garment workers in Bangladesh, the 2016 Australian Fashion Report has underlined the pressing need to accelerate efforts to uphold the rights of workers throughout the entire apparel industry supply chain.The Australian Fashion Report sheds light on what the industry and individual companies are doing to address forced labour, child labour and exploitation. Each report - since the launch of the first in 2013 - has tracked the progress within the industry. The change since 2013 has been significant.

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