Three years after Rana Plaza

Enforcing decent work in the textile sector worldwide

During his trip to Bangladesh in October 2015, the Minister for Development Gerd Müller met textile workers and survivors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in a women's meeting place supported by Germany.

Press release of 21.04.2016 |

On 24 April, it will be three years that the devastating tragedy occurred at Rana Plaza which left more than 1,100 people dead and more than 3,000 injured. In order to ensure that victims' families would get at least a minimum of compensation, the German government used its G7 Presidency in 2015 to get contributors to replenish the Rana Plaza compensation fund. In 2014, Minister Gerd Müller launched a Partnership for Sustainable Textiles in order to help improve environmental and social standards along the entire textile value chain.

Minister Müller noted: "A lot has happened over the past three years. We have already achieved major improvements since Rana Plaza, especially on structural and fire safety. Compliance with core labour standards and the payment of living wages continue to be big challenges in the textile sector. In our Textiles Partnership, we are working with the private sector and with civil society to address this."

With German support, more than 750 factory managers in Bangladesh have received advice on how to improve social and environmental standards and been given training on related issues. Some 100,000 women workers have been educated about their rights. Together with the International Labour Organization (ILO), Germany has provided training to 300 labour inspectors. With assistance from Germany, Bangladesh is currently introducing an occupational accident insurance system. Government representatives and employer and employee representatives from the textile industry in Bangladesh are being given the opportunity to visit Germany to exchange ideas and get first-hand information on the ground about health and safety standards and accident prevention and about the organisation of committees of workers' representatives. Putting in place the fundamental elements of social protection systems for workers is becoming a focus of the German Development Ministry's work with its partner countries.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles now has more than 180 members. As it covers more than 55 per cent of the German textile market, the Partnership already has gained enough influence to reach the mass market.

For more information, read the BMZ's fact sheet (PDF 197 KB) or visit the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

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