What Bangladesh can do to help garment workers
Rana Plaza made the potentially deadly conditions in garment factories impossible to ignore.
Sliding deadlines for safety improvements following the Rana Plaza disaster demonstrate why the Bangladesh government must act (Bangladeshi workers still in danger despite safety pledges, says report, 21 November).
Rana Plaza made the potentially deadly conditions in garment factories impossible to ignore. Safety improvements promoted by retailers have brought some positive changes but, given the scale of the problem in Bangladesh, these cannot tackle the root of the problem on their own, and they are not exclusive to garment factories – so what about other sectors?
Basic safety measures such as fire escapes should be emphasised (and brands need to invest), but if Bangladesh truly wants to help the women who labour in the factories it must think bigger and longer term to find sustainable solutions. Key to this will be diversifying the economy to create better jobs and strengthen workers’ rights so that women have more job options for a better future, and employers compete to attract workers by offering the best conditions.
Country director, ActionAid Bangladesh
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