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ActionAid lists 5 points to secure Bangla RMG workers
Apr '16
Ahead of the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh that killed over a thousand workers, international NGO ActionAid has come up with five recommendations to improve the condition of garment factory workers in the country.

It has recommended incorporating a compensation mechanism that clarifies the calculation criteria and reflects the prevailing socio-economic reality within the national legal framework

ActionAid has also recommended strengthening the designated government department to continue the factory inspection and streamline the process of providing permits for setting up factories.

The third recommendation asks for ensuring that the 'true spirit' of 'freedom of association' prevails by adequately empowering the trade unions to collectively bargain for their rights.

It has also suggested minimizing the loopholes in the labour law to make it worker-friendly.

ActionAid also stressed on the need to continue the social dialogue for broader accountability framework for the global fashion brands need to be in place to ensure workers safety and basic rights. This framework would ensure accountability of major stakeholder throughout the value chain.

The recommendations have made been made following a survey ActionAid commissioned to critically analyse the responses to the tragic incident and also raise the crucial questions on how to institutionalize them with in the national legal framework and the broader international accountability framework.

While the spontaneous emergency response was commendable and the efforts taken by the governments, international buyers, apex bodies, non-governmental organizations is a step towards ensuring workers' rights and safety, issues continue to persist around job security of workers from factories that do not meet safety requirements, extent of economic reintegration and physical and psychosocial well-being, the survey found.

The survey acknowledged that three years after the Rana Plaza building collapse, the scenario of the Bangladesh RMG sector has started to change. But in order to sustain the developments, shape the RMG sector towards a safer, responsive and accountable sector, development efforts need to be continued. Responsible partnership of stakeholders is still important to address the challenges.

The survey found an upward trend in socio-economic reintegration. While a large number of survivors have opted for self-employment, the growing flow re-joining the garments sector cannot be ignored. While the personal loss of survivors and kin of deceased is irreplaceable, majority of respondents from the survey considered the initiatives taken by the multiple stakeholders as effective.

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