Improved Working Condition After Rana Plaza Tragedy

Rana Plaza TragedySpeakers at a commemoration event in Dhaka to mark the second anniversary of the ‘Rana Plaza’ tragedy acknowledged the progress made towards creating a safer ready made garment (RMG) sector for Bangladesh. They also stressed the need for further improvement to working conditions and worker rights in the industry, a statement of International Labour Organisation said.

“Continuous efforts have been made by the government of Bangladesh and its partners over the last two years to transform our apparel industry,” the ILO statement said quoting Bangladesh minister of state for labour and employment, Md. Mujibul Haque. “Almost three-quarters of garment factories have now been assessed for structural and fire safety with only a very small number being deemed too unsafe to operate. The capacity of the labour inspectorate and fire service is much stronger while legislative amendments have led to the establishment of many more unions. These changes will play a crucial role in charting the future course of the industry, turning it into a sustainable sector,” Md. Haque said.

A minute’s silence was observed at the event in remembrance of the 1,136 who lost their lives in the Rana Plaza collapse on 24 April 2013. Most victims were from RMG factories housed in the building.
Over the last two years the Bangladesh government has worked closely with the ILO and a wide range of partners to improve working conditions in the RMG sector. Over 2,500 out of 3,500 export-oriented RMG factories have been inspected for structural, fire and electrical safety so far.

ILO’s assistant director-general and regional director for Asia and the Pacific Tomoko Nishimoto, also acknowledged the progress but cautioned against any slackness being made in the efforts.

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