Bangladesh factory collapse victims still unfit to return to work

One year after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh killed nearly 1150 people, three quarters of survivors are too traumatized or injured  to return to work according to the a new survey from the international development agency, ActionAid.

The survey of 1436 survivors and 768 family members of those that died in the disaster found that the majority are struggling to pay for food, rent, and outstanding debts while awaiting full compensation.

As many multinational brands continue to avoid paying the agreed compensation, the survey found that the victims had so far received average payments of only $1086, with some offered as little as $20.

ActionAid’s Country Director in Bangladesh, Farah Kabir said:

“‘Pocket money’ is not a compensation package and it is offensive that some multinational companies think that small, sporadic cash hand-outs are the same as a lifetime’s earnings.

“What survivors want is a long term compensation package that will support their needs for ten to fifteen years or more, depending on their ability to work following the disaster.

“While companies and national retailers drag their heels on the issue of compensation, thousands of people injured by the factory collapse slip further into physical, emotional and financial trouble.”

So far only US$15 million of the agreed US$40 million agreed has been contributed to the Rana Plaza fund, the mechanism for coordinating compensation for victims and their families.

ActionAid is calling on companies to pay up so survivors and the families of the deceased can receive the compensation they need to rebuild their lives.

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For interviews and more information contact:

In London: Charlotte Armstrong on Tel: +44 (0) 203 122 0503 or mobile +44 (0) 7957 394 891 charlotte.armstrong@actionaid.org

Editors' notes
  • The survey was carried out by ActionAid to follow up on the comprehensive assessment of the needs of the survivors and families of the deceased workers in October 2013. A total of 1436 survivors and 768 family members of those that died were surveyed. Click here for the survey

 

  • ActionAid Bangladesh was part of the immediate rescue operation and humanitarian response to the Rana Plaza factory collapse, providing oxygen masks, hydraulic jacks, high powered torches and fans among other emergency apparatus.  It provided food and water to the victims and financial support to two pregnant women and two critically injured people, who were assessed as being at greatest need.  ActionAid is lobbying for a fair compensation package for the victims and families of those who died. ActionAid continues to work with 250 of the most vulnerable survivors through a rehabilitation project.

 

  • ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to achieve greater human rights for all and defeat poverty. We believe people in poverty have the power within them to create change for themselves, their families and communities. ActionAid is a catalyst for that change.