Five years since the Rana Plaza collapse: What has happened in the field of prevention and remedy?

[April 2018] On 24 April 2013, the world watched in astonishment and shame as horror of the Rana Plaza building collapse was broadcast across the world’s media. This was where the race to the bottom had led the garment industry: factories housed in unsafe buildings and workers afraid to enter a workplace with visible cracks in the walls, but even more afraid to lose their wages if they refused. The Rana Plaza collapse was a moment in which all pledged to do better and to start respecting the lives of the women and men working long hours for low pay to make our clothes. Five years on, we take stock. This memo aims to give an overview of the promises made in 2013, and what has – and has not – changed following the world’s worst ever garment factory disaster. It also serves as a guide to the excellent pieces of research that have become available at this moment of retrospection for labour rights in the garment industry.