POST TIME: 17 April, 2019 12:33:41 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 April, 2019 04:00:15 PM
51pc Rana Plaza survivors still unemployed: Study

51pc Rana Plaza survivors still unemployed: Study

Some 51 per cent survivors of the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse are still unemployed six years after the tragedy, says a recent report by ActionAid. The findings were unveiled at a programme titled ‘Four million making 50 billion—Where the RMG sector stands six years after Rana Plaza’, organized by ActionAid at Brac Center Inn.

ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) has been working closely with the survivors and families of the deceased since 2013. AAB provided emergency support during the rescue and developed a comprehensive database of approximately 1,400 survivors since 2013. Since that year, AAB has been using the database to periodically collect information to track the progress of the survivors and families of the deceased.

Presenting the report, manager of ActionAid Bangladesh Nuzhat Jabin said 58.4 per cent of the Rana Plaza tragedy survivors were still traumatized, while psychological condition of 37.3 per cent was not fully stable.

She said the unemployment rate among the survivors had gradually decreased in the last six years. Among the survivors, only 15.5 per cent went back to working in the RMG sector.

An earlier AAB survey had shown that some 79 per cent of the survivors wanted to run their own business for their livelihood, while five per cent wanted to switch to other sectors from the garment sector and only five per cent were still interested in working in the garment industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh Farah Kabir said, “Though six years have elapsed, the workers are getting nothing other than financial assistance. As part of compensation, we have to work towards rehabilitating them mentally, socially and financially,” she said.

She also said as the compensation was being given in phases, making it difficult for the victims to utilize the money properly.

Research Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPB) Dr Khandaker Golam Moazzemn said, the situation was supposed to get better in six years but, unfortunately, it seems that the situation had got worse.

He suggested an effective social dialogue between the manufacturers, buyers, brands, union leaders and workers for better labour

rights and for strengthening workplace safety. The Rana Plaza disaster had brought to light the weaknesses in the governance system, shedding light on a complete lack of oversight and a politically influential property owner who could use his weight to ensure the enforcement mechanism was not put in place, he said.

If the structural problems that were at the heart of the Rana Plaza disaster were are not addressed, many of the problems would recur in future and people would forget about these issues five years from now, Moazzem noted.