The Rana Plaza building, which housed five factories fully collapsed claiming the death of more than 1135 garments workers and approximately 2,500 injured people and disabilities of more than an additional thousand.
Following the tragic incident, considerable efforts have been made by the government, local manufacturers, international fashion brands, individual stakeholders and ActionAid Bangladesh to ensure compensation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the affected people and workplace safety.
ActionAid has engaged with the survivors since the very beginning with humanitarian work, and joined forces to expand support as mental guiding, employment, business enterprise improvement and compensation. ActionAid Bangladesh has been conducting surveys on the survivors every year and according to their findings, 8.4 percent survivors of the collapse are still traumatised and 48 percent of them remain unemployed due to physical and mental illness. Also, according to surveys, physical condition of 78.8 percent of the 1,414 injured workers is improving compared to previous year’s 70 percent. Meanwhile, 14.6 percent of the injured workers said they still have serious physical problems.
This year as we approach the sixth year of the deadly incident, it is time to critically review the status of the industry and the progress made so far, follow-up and reflect on the situation of the affected people. ActionAid Bangladesh has worked closely with the survivors and families of the deceased since 2013. ActionAid Bangladesh collects information to track their progress by using a comprehensive database of approximately 1400 survivors which was created in 2013. In continuation, the organization conducted the follow-up survey on 200 survivors of the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2019. According to their research, 51 percent survivors of the incident remain unemployed due to their physical and mental weaknesses. The unemployment rate among the survivors increased about nine percent in the last two years. Though six years have passed, the workers are getting nothing other than financial assistance. As part of compensation, ActionAid Bangladesh is working in rehabilitating them mentally, socially and financially.
ActionAid Bangladesh is planning to undertake a number of activities to commemorate the 6th anniversary of Rana Plaza building collapse incident which includes a multilogue on Rana Plaza and RMG, art installation, case Stories: Photo and VDO along with a follow-up survey by organizing a research sharing event titled ‘Commemorating the 6th Anniversary of Rana Plaza Building Collapse’. This event will be focusing on:
1) Compensation and Insurance: Social Security of Workers
2) Inequality in The Global Garment Value Chain: Wage and Gender Equality
No other tragedies like Rana Plaza is wanted in future. For that to happen, proper security needs to be ensured if any such incident happens in the future.