Bangladesh disaster: 'Little help' for Rana Plaza victims


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Six months after a major clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh, 94% of the victims are still awaiting compensation, a charity says.

The charity, Action Aid, says many survivors have serious injuries that have prevented them returning to work.

More than 1,130 people died when the Rana Plaza building near Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, collapsed in April.

Action Aid, questioned nearly two-thirds of survivors and victims' relatives for its survey.

It found that 94% of those questioned said they had received no legal benefits from their employers, including sick pay or compensation.

It also found that 92% of survivors had not gone back to work, with 63% of those reporting physical injuries including amputations, paralysis and severe pain.

Ayesha Aktar

Of those surveyed, 92% said they were deeply traumatised.

'Mounting debts'

Until now, Primark is the only company that has provided financial support to victims - about £118 ($191) each to 3,300 people, according to Action Aid.

The company has said it will continue to pay wages to those affected for three more months.

The Action Aid survey found that survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster were facing severe financial difficulty. More than half said they had mounting debts, and more than 90% said they had no savings.

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Retailers in the EU and the US have pledged since April to improve working conditions in factories they use in Bangladesh, but negotiations between trade unions and retailers over long-term compensation have yet to produce a deal.

On Tuesday, the Bangladeshi government and the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched a further initiative to improve the safety of buildings and prevent fires in the clothing industry.

The $24m (£15m), three-and-a-half-year plan is to be funded by the British and Dutch governments.

The ILO has been tasked with bringing together numerous measures aimed at improving working conditions, the BBC's Mahfuz Sadique reports from Dhaka.

But he says that a fire at a textile plant earlier this month has highlighted once more the dangers still faced by workers.

Bangladesh is reported to be the world's second largest exporter of ready-made clothes behind China. Latest government figures put the annual value of those exports at $21.5bn.

The Rana Plaza collapse was the worst industrial disaster in the country's history.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    For those who say it has nothing to do with us, think about that when you buy a cheap top or other item of clothing, the only reason the companies buy from other countries is because its cheap and its cheap because they pay cheap labour, if it were made in this country the wages would be higher and we wouldn't be able to buy cheap clothes so we are all to blame because we need everything cheap.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Why blame Britain, Ireland and other countries for the very sad deaths ar Rana Factory. Surely the unscrupulous greedy bosses of the factory are to blame. They pay their people the lowest wage in the most unsafe conditions while they reap the benefits and live a good lifestyle. If anyone should be compensating these poor people and families it should be the Bangladeshis. Action Aid should shut up

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Although I totally agree that this is tragic and something needs to be done...should it be blamed on the buyer?

    You have to remember that a lot of our industry in the West was lost when production moved to 3rd world countries that do the job cheaper. Should we now pay full price again when all our industries have gone down the pan?


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