Bangladesh Five Years After Rana Plaza

A round-up of action in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment sector.
Key Takeaways
  • 2,300 Bangladeshi garment factories are safer now, according to a new report, particularly those producing goods for western brands.
  • However the majority of the industry is still lagging behind.
  • Campaigners are calling on brands sourcing from Bangladesh to sign the Accord extension.
  • There is new collaboration to improve purchasing practices by Ethical Trading Initiative member brands sourcing from Bangladesh.
  • An app has been launched to help improve Bangladesh’s labour inspectorate.
  • Digital mapping has begun of all of Bangladesh’s garment factories.
  • Worker activists claim police are supporting factory owners and harassing workers who wish to organise.

It’s been five years since the Rana Plaza garment factory building collapsed near Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, killing 1,134 workers and injuring a further 2,500. The disaster shocked the world about the state of the ready-made garment industry – but what has happened since to improve conditions?

The short answer is that there is a mixed picture. Reports, meetings, campaigns and initiatives are tracking the progress that has – and hasn’t – happened. Recommendations for future action are emergin…

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Clare Lissaman

Head of Oxfam Advisory Services at Oxfam and 3 others