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Trade associations call for Bangladesh donationWednesday, March 25, 2015 > 12:59:24
Ahead of the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse next month, the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Social Accountability International (SAI) have called on Bangladeshi public and private partners to contribute to the Rana Plaza Arrangement, aiming to fill the existing funding gap.
“We commend those companies sourcing from Rana Plaza that have already contributed to the Trust Fund. However, we urgently call on those brands and retailers sourcing from Rana Plaza that haven’t done so yet to step up. Given the scale of this tragedy and the human need, the Trust Fund also offers a complementary mechanism to help ensure those in need receive support. For this reason, we encourage any brand or retailer sourcing from Bangladesh to make as well a voluntary donation to the families affected as an expression of support for the victims,” a statement from the associations notes.
ETI Director, Peter McAllister, said: “We hope this joint call with BSCI and SAI sends a strong signal to companies that sourced from Rana Plaza and have not yet made payments. We also hope this spurs donations from others that source from Bangladesh, so that victims and their families can get on with living their lives.”
The BSCI, ETI and SAI claim that engaging Bangladeshi partners in the Rana Plaza Arrangement would bring credibility to the discussions initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the establishment of an Employment Injury Insurance in Bangladesh.
This initiative, based on ILO convention 121 on employment injury benefits and a key component of the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety, would work to ensure protection for ready-made garment (RMG) workers, with compensation should they suffer an accident at work.
Lorenz Berzau, BSCI managing director, said: “We highly welcome the efforts of ILO in bringing forward this proposal. The country needs to invest in a mechanism that protects workers and avoids having to set up exceptional measures for compensating victims. In addition, it will have a very positive impact on the competitiveness and reputation of the garment sector in the country and send a strong message to the international community that lessons have been learned after Rana Plaza.”