More than two years after the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Bangladesh, and countless taunts and pleas to retailers, brands and other stakeholders for contributions, the Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund has finally hit its $30 million target for full compensation for victims and those who survived them—a sum it said was required to ensure all involved got fair and equitable recompense based on International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.
The Rana Plaza Coordination Committee, with aid from the ILO, established the fund six months after the multi-story garment manufacturing complex collapsed, killing more than 1,100 and injuring thousands of others.
As of April, $27 million had been raised and 70 percent of that already paid out to victims, but additional donations including one large sum presented late last week got the committee to its goal.
“This is a milestone but we still have important business to deal with,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in a statement. “We must now work together to ensure that accidents can be prevented in the future, and that a robust national employment injury insurance scheme is established so that victims of any future accidents will be swiftly and justly compensated and cared for.”
Bangladesh still doesn’t have employment injury insurance in place to protect workers in job-related accidents, but the ILO said it is working with the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations and industry partners to establish one.
Last month, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said it would embargo exports from its member factories for failure to institute worker insurance.
Full payments from the Rana Plaza Donor fund to cover victims’ loss of income and medical bills are expected to be made in the coming weeks.