‘Rana Plaza victims unlikely to get justice’

Staff Correspondent

Ruling Awami League lawmaker Ishrafil Alam on Wednesday expressed doubt over getting justice in the tragic Rana Plaza incident and said the people who are responsible for the building collapse and death of thousands of people were very powerful.
‘I am worried about the judicial process and I think Rana Plaza victims will not get justice,’ he said at a multilogue on ‘Post Rana Plaza: Where We Stand’ organised by ActionAid Bangladesh at BRAC Centre in the city.
Industrial accidents can take place in the country, but it needs to be addressed that victims are getting justice, Ishrafil, also the member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labor and Employment, said.
‘I think the voice of justice will shed tears in silence regarding the Rana Plaza collapse, as the culprits are very powerful,’ he said.
‘We want industrialisation, but not at the cost of workers’ life,’ he added.
Ishrafil said an ‘endless’ debate has been created centering the issue of compensation for the Rana Plaza victims, which should end through establishing a standard of reward.
ActionAid revealed the findings of a survey which found that two years after the Rana Plaza incident, the situation of survivors has gotten worse.
The survey found that most of the survivors were not in good shape, be it physical, mental or economic condition.
The survey showed that 61.2 percent of the survivors still need to visit doctors and clinics on a regular basis, and most of them are still suffering from depression and trauma.
ActoinAid has carried out the survey on 1414 survivors, among them, 915 are women and 499 are men.
Of the 1,414 survivors, 55 per cent respondents are still unemployed, while 44 percent survivors areengaged in different kinds of work.
Currently, 54.4 per cent respondents are facing difficulties to meet their daily needs, and two per cent cannot meet their daily needs at all.
The survivors present in the event claimed that they did not get proper compensation.
Mojtaba Kazazi, executive commissioner of Rana Plaza Coordination Committee, said they received many letters for compensation beyond the actual figure, and they had assessed the amount as per the ILO convention.
The compensation depends on the loss and damage to the survivors, he said.
Shahidullah Azim, vice President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said they have been working closely with factory owners and other stakeholders to ensure security of workers.
Ensuring accountability and transparency are the most important factors in improving the situation in the garment industry in Bangladesh, said Tuomo Poutiainen, programme manager of International Labour Orgnisation, Bangladesh office.
Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, said the government, factory owners and other partners should work together to help the survivors and families of victims go on with their lives.

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