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Three Years Later, Trust Created to Pay Tazreen Factory Fire Victims

Three years have passed since the Tazreen Fashions factory burned in Bangladesh, taking the lives of more than 100 workers and injuring hundreds more, and now a new stakeholder trust promises to pay the victims for their losses.

The Tazreen Claims Administration Trust (TCA Trust) came out of an agreement signed last year by Dutch fashion chain C&A, IndustriALL Global Union and the Clean Clothes Campaign. The International Labour Organization (ILO) brokered the deal, which committed each signee to create and implement a fair and transparent payment scheme—based on the Rana Plaza Claims Administration’s success with its compensation plan—for the Tazreen victims and their families.

Members of the Tazreen Coordination Committee, comprised of the original agreement’s signatories, settled on details of the scheme and established the TCA Trust in September, with the aim of reviewing claims and making award payments to victims and eligible family members of the dead or missing.

“Thanks to the regular support of the ILO, the government of Bangladesh, and the signatory organizations, we are happy to get the TCA Trust up and running,” Rana Plaza Donor Trust Fund executive commissioner Dr. Mojtaba Kazazi, said. “After all the hardship and trauma victims and their families have been through, they will finally be able to receive the payments they are due.”

Payments by the Trust will build on those already made by Bangladesh’s Office of the Prime Minister and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and any compensation previously made will be deducted from the total payments made under this scheme.

TCA Trust payments will be disbursed through a dedicated fund currently being financed by C&A Foundation, Fung Foundation, the charitable arm of Li & Fung and German retailer KiK.

Once claims have been filed and approved with the trust, award payments will go into Dutch Bangla Bank Limited accounts established when the claimants initially registered.

Injured victims will undergo medical assessments and provided with advice for filing their claims.

The first payments will be made in January 2016, with an expectation that final disbursements will be doled out by April 2016.

Though it has taken three years, those who suffered will see further and final recompense and those responsible may pay their due.

A Dhaka court indicted the Tazreen factory owners and 11 others on charges of homicide in September and a trial began last month. The factory had been making goods for international buyers like Walmart and Spanish brand El Corte Ingles.