Garment industry in Bangladesh

UK's Minister Visits Rana Plaza Survivors Rehabilitation Programme

Visiting UK’s Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan expressed his satisfaction at the progress made by the Rana Plaza Survivors Rehabilitation Programme in last one year, during a visit to Savar and termed the stories of the survivors as ‘Inspiring’.

Alan Duncan, UK’s Minister of State for International Development visited a tailoring shop in Savar on 2 April 2014, wherethree survivors of the Rana Plaza Collapse works and listened to their experience. Srinivas B Reddy, ILO Country Director accompanied the minister during the visit.

The UK’s Minister of State for International Development meet with Minu, Khaleda and Sabina who survived the Rana Plaza collapse nearly a year ago. For the trio, April of 2013 was a time of trauma and agony, having lost their friends and colleagues, also facing the grim reality of losing their job due to the building collapse. But they did not give up their dream of a better life. Thanks to a skills training programme run by BRAC and the ILO which gave them the opportunity to learn the skills of tailoring. They are back at their sewing machines, except now they are sewing for a small local tailor, and learning the skills they need to fulfill their new dreams; of owning their own shops.

“Almost a year on from the collapse, it was inspiring to hear how the survivors have sought to maintain their dignity and re-establish their livelihoods, despite such severe, crushing injuries and psychological trauma. We can all learn from their stories,” said Alan Duncan.

The UK’s Minister expressed his satisfaction at the progress made in last one year in the rehabilitation programme of the survivors of Rana Plaza collapse under the Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garments Sector Programme implemented by ILO and funded by Canada, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the UK Government.

Currently the USD24 million programme on RMG Sector focuses on a number of areas, including factory inspections, health and safety and worker’s rights. A key component of the programme is rehabilitation of the Rana Plaza collapse survivors by supporting the Rana Plaza Coordination Cell, which has registered and supported over 1350 survivors and families of the deceased, rebuild the livelihoods of 250 people who have disabilities as a result of their injury in the building collapse and provide support to 49 injured survivors to get the skills needed to restart their careers.

To hear more of the survivors’ stories, see Emerging from the Ruins of Rana Plaza, a multimedia feature with Minu and Khaleda six months on from the collapse.

The ILO is the specialized UN agency dealing with work and workplace issues.