Rana Plaza two years on: Progress, but compensation and workers' rights still lacking
On 24 April 2013, Rana Plaza building collapse killed over 1100 garment workers and left 2000 injured. The second anniversary has seen NGOs and investors urge companies to address a 6$m shortfall in compensation for victims. Human Rights Watch has highlighted the harassment and intimidation of workers who form trade unions - it urges the government to enforce the labour law and protect workers' right to freedom of association.
What progress has been made since the disaster, and what still remains to be done? Find out from a range of perspectives below. For a good summary, see this article by Lydia DePillis in Washington Post.
All components of this story
Bangladesh: Institute for Human Rights & Business highlights media coverage & developments post Rana Plaza building collapse
Author: Institute for Human Rights & Business
IHRB has been drawing the attention of the international community to these issues since the day of the accident...We present here our work, comprising commentaries, op-ed articles, and podcasts with Bangladeshi experts...Two years later, intimidation of unions has continued; minimum wage has increased, but not sufficiently, according to labour rights activists; and political control over the industry remains. And many workers and their families have remained only partially compensated.
Author: Rozina Islam, Prothom Alo
The charge sheets in the two main cases concerning the incident of Rana Plaza collapse, have not been submitted as yet. Sources in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)...said that the main reasons for the delay is that they have not received permission to name six government officials in the list of the accused...Five cases had been filed regarding the Rana Plaza incident. Charge sheets have been submitted in two cases, regarding firearms being recovered from the building. Charge sheets have not been submitted in the case pointing to negligence as the cause of deaths in the Rana Plaza collapse and the case regarding violation of the RAJUK building construction regulations.
A new report looking at the response of Canadian business to the Rana Plaza disaster suggests internal supplier auditing programmes are still not doing enough to address the risks. Two years after the devastating building collapse in Bangladesh, the Shareholder Association for Research & Education analused the response to the disaster by seven publicly traded apparel companies: Canadian Tire, Gildan Activewear, HBC, Loblaw, Lululemon, Reitmans and Sears Canada.
Author: Daily Star
The High Court today directed the officer-in-charge of Savar Police Station to submit a progress report before it by April 26 on the trial proceedings of the cases filed over the incident of Rana Plaza collapse that killed 1,135 people in April 2013...On April 24, 2013, the court issued the suomoto rule asking the government to explain why it should not be directed to take appropriate legal action against the person responsible for the Rana Plaza collapse.
Author: Amy Kazmin, Financial Times
...[Benetton] became the target of a campaign... [by] activists dismayed by its failure to pay into a compensation fund for victims... Marco Airoldi... Benetton’s chief executive... hopes Benetton is closing a chapter in the story with its move last week to pay $1.1m into The Rana Plaza Trust Fund... In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Benetton had paid $500,000 to BRAC, a respected Bangladeshi non-governmental organisation, to help victims access urgent medical care and longer-term support... Benetton’s $1.1m announcement fell short of the $5m western labour unions and social activists had hoped it would pay...
- Related stories: Bangladesh: In runup to second anniversary of Rana Plaza building collapse, stakeholders urged to contribute to the compensation fund
- Related companies: Benetton
Two years on, around one-third of the 32 firms that campaigners claim have links to the complex have yet to pay out
Author: Jonathan Owen, Independent
About a dozen clothing companies linked to the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh – which collapsed killing more than 1,100 people – have yet to pay a penny into a fund for victims, campaigners claim...Consequently it is facing a shortfall of millions of pounds, depriving thousands of victims of the money they should have received. The fund, backed by the UN’s International Labour Organisation, should be about $30m, but less than $23m has been donated to date, which means that at least 5,000 people eligible for compensation will end up with only 70 per cent of what they are expecting. The amounts being given to individuals will vary depending on their circumstances, such as the number of dependants they have and the wages earned by workers who were killed or injured.
Author: Katie Forster, Guardian
The second anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, in which more than 1,100 people died, is to be marked by demonstrations organised by survivors and trade union groups...Rallies and tributes will take place on Friday 24 April, at the site where the clothing factory – which supplied garments to western retailers including Primark, Benetton and Matalan...There is still an $8m (£5m) shortfall in the agreed $30m fund set up for compensation. Last Friday Benetton became the last of 29 western brands who produced clothes at Rana Plaza to donate to the fund. The Italian fashion retailer gave $1.1m in response to pressure from an online petition of more than a million people. Benetton says this is twice the amount suggested by the accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. It has also set up its own rehabilitation programme for victims, but campaigners say this is not enough.
Bangladesh: CCC believes Benetton's 1.1 million USD contribution insufficient to compensate victims of Rana Plaza building collapse
Author: Clean Clothes Campaign
- Related stories: Bangladesh: In runup to second anniversary of Rana Plaza building collapse, stakeholders urged to contribute to the compensation fund Rana Plaza two years on: $6m shortfall in compensation fund
- Related companies: Benetton Children's Place Inditex Loblaw Companies Mango Matalan Walmart
Salil Tripathi of Institute for Human Rights & Business reflects on the importance of fully compensating victims and calls for immediate action in Bangladesh
Author: Salil Tripathi, Institute for Human Rights & Business
Nearly two years after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh...most victims’ families are still waiting for full compensation for their losses...with less than three weeks left before the second anniversary of the tragedy, a major international campaign is underway to fill the significant remaining gap in compensation funds the international community and Bangladeshi companies and government had agreed should be raised but has thus far failed to fully deliver...all parties involved should reflect on the importance of fully compensating victims and recognize the need for action now. Over a thousand people lost their lives at Rana Plaza two years ago; many more are suffering from permanent disabilities. Preventing such accidents should be a priority; so should healing the workers.
- Related stories: Bangladesh: Workers' deaths & injuries in the cement factory collapse reaffirms safety gaps in factories Bangladesh: Ahead of Rana Plaza building collapse's 2nd anniversary, stakeholders urge to contribute to the compensation fund
- Related in-depth areas: Rana Plaza building collapse, April 2013 The Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - one year on