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Old April 4, 2014, 05:37 AM
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reverse_swing reverse_swing is offline
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Default How The World Has Changed Since Rana Plaza


If a positive can be found, it's that Rana Plaza has been a turning point - the 21st Century equivalent of New York's 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire which killed 146 but led to a unionized, safe garment industry. But, while that protected the workers of America, today, workplace laws must straddle international boundaries and cultural practices - involving brands, governments, employers, trade unions and consumers. It's fraught with complication. To create too much red tape around trading in Bangladesh would lead to companies taking their business to less rigorously controlled areas, adding unemployment to the suffering.
Emma Watson is among the growing lobby of celebrities galvanizing a generation of teenage girls to think twice about their Saturday shopping habits. "I've travelled to Bangladesh and visited factories like Rana Plaza," she says. "I knew how bad the conditions were before the collapse," she says. 'I think it's important that I'm accountable for the choices I make and understand they have serious consequences."
Cate Blanchett says that garment manufacture demands the same attention as climate change. "If you offer options then it's not sacrifice, it's choice," she says. "As well as the fundamental improvement to our spiritual health, buying with conscience is about the option to buy something for £1 that has the potential to blind 15 children as a result of an inhumane production line - or something else for £1.50 that will have a positive effect. Like climate change - we need to change the way we consume fashion. And if more individuals do then we make a change collectively."

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Old April 4, 2014, 09:04 AM
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We need more sustainable mechanisms through which domestic companies and international buyers are held accountable for their actions and at the same time institute compensatory processes that don't overburden any one party and which are not reliant on charity. I wrote about a more comprehensive workers' insurance last year for the Daily Star: http://archive.thedailystar.net/beta...-compensation/

Not every disaster in Bangladesh will get coverage from Vogue or WSJ or payouts from international companies. We need more long term, established, domestic solutions.
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