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Brands urged to help compensate Rana Plaza victims

Ahead of the second anniversary of the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, some victims are still awaiting compensation. Hence, the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Social Accountability International (SAI) have urged brands and retailers, who sourced from Rana Plaza, as well as Bangladeshi public and private partners to make a contribution to close the current funding gap and fully compensate victims of the tragedy.

In a joint statement, the organisations commended the companies that have already contributed to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, established in January 2014 to collect contributions and hold them in trust under specified terms and to be used to cover payments to Rana Plaza victims and their families. However, to brands that haven’t contributed, the organisations have appealed to help ensure those in need receive support.

If Bangladeshi partners engage in completing care for the victims, BSCI, ETI and SAI said it would demonstrate their commitment to protecting ready-made garment (RMG) workers, and lend credibility to the International Labour Organization (ILO)-led discussions about establishing insurance for workers in the country. The proposed Employment Injury Insurance, a key component of the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety, would ensure protection for all RMG workers and compensation for any work-related accidents.

According to BSCI managing director, Lorenz Berzau, the country needs to invest in a mechanism that protects workers and compensate victims. In addition, it will have a very positive impact on the competitiveness and reputation of the garment sector in the country and send a strong message to the international community that lessons have been learned after Rana Plaza incident.