Ksenia Ocheredko Case Study Bangladesh

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Bangladesh Pages: 9 (1673 words) Published: March 28, 2015


Case Study
Rana Plaza, Bangladesh

Ksenia Ocheredko 02/02/2015 Course: EDSB On 24 April 2013, Rana Plaza, an eight-stored commercial building, collapsed in Dhaka Area, the capital of Bangladesh. The search for the dead ended on 13 May with a death toll of 1,129. The factory housed a number of separate garment factories employing around 5,000 people, several shops, and a bank. The factories manufactured apparel for brands including Benetton, Bonmarché, El Corte Inglés, Mango, Primark and Walmart. The shops and the bank on the lower floors immediately closed after cracks were discovered in the building. Warnings to avoid using the building after cracks appeared the day before had been ignored. Garment workers were ordered to return the following day and the building collapsed during the morning rush-hour. ''Managers at Ether Tex threatened to withhold a month's pay from workers who refused to come to work.''1 The head of the Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defense, Ali Ahmed Khan, said that ''the upper four floors had been built without a permit''2. Rana Plaza's architect, Massood Reza, said the building was planned for shops and offices – but not factories. Other architects stressed the risks involved in placing factories inside a building designed only for shops and offices, noting the structure was potentially not strong enough to bear the weight and vibration of heavy machinery. According to the Written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre on 26 May 2014 in the process of functioning of Rana Plaza take place serious violations of labour and human rights of workers: ''Huge tragedies like Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1137 workers and left another 1000 with serious injuries have brought to the fore the rampant violation of labour and human rights of workers by big businesses. Turned literally into a sweatshop for global brands with some 4,500 garment factories […] Unfortunately, neither the government nor the business has owned up their role in making of the disasters and they have failed to bring into any serious reforms into the living and working conditions. Many of the big companies like Benetton, Bonmarché, Mango, Matalan, Primark and Walmart whose labels were found in the dust have refused to pay compensation to those injured and killed in the Rana Plaza collapse.''3 There is a huge violation of the Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ''Everyone has the right to life […] and the security of person'',4 as well as violations of several conventions of the International Labour Organization. Terrible working conditions were widely reported in press: ''…last year's Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, where at least 1,130 people died and thousands more were injured, staff as young as 13 are filmed in factories being kicked, slapped and hit with a used fabric roll as well as abused with physical threats and insults.''5 According to Minimum Age Convention of the International Labour Organization ''The minimum age specified in […] this Article shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years.''6 Besides using child labor, irregular working hours, the management of Rana Plaza failed to stick to the most important safety requirements at working place: ''Employers shall be required to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the workplaces, machinery, equipment and processes under their control are safe and without risk to health.''7 According to social media an essential...
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