The Rana Plaza factory located in Dhaka district (Bangladesh) collapsed on 24 April 2013. 1,134 people died and an estimated 2,500 people were injured. The collapse is considered to be the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.
The Rana Plaza factory collapse led to worldwide outcry and pressure on fashion companies to change their business practices. As an immediate reaction to the disaster, apparel brands, retailers and workers unions signed a global framework agreement to improve occupational safety and health standards in the Bangladeshi garment industry: the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, otherwise known as “the Accord”.
The accident also played an important role in the field of business and human rights. In France, one of the countries related to the event through French apparel and retailer companies supply chain, the factory collapse accelerated efforts by lawmakers to adopt duty of vigilance legislation, passed in March 2017. Other legislations were adopted by local and national authorities in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The debate has since expanded at the global level and within regional authorities, the European Union currently working on a proposed mandatory human rights due diligence legislation: the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence directive.
To reflect on the legacy of this dramatic event, GBSN is inviting our global community to engage and facilitate conversations in their local communities for wider dissemination. Conversations can take the form of event recordings, various forms of publications, illustrations, multimedia presentations, audio recordings, and more.
These conversations should be designed to include business school students, their lecturers and key business and human rights stakeholders including business professionals, policymakers, and civil society.
The Diamond Industry and BHR Transformation
Hear from Shai de Toledo and Dorothée Baumann-Pauly as they talk about the diamond industry transformation as they highlight businesses in transformation and integration of business models.
10 Year Anniversary Rana Plaza: How Can We Transform Business so Business and Principles Can Co-Exist?
During this conversation, hear from Natasja Sheriff Wells as she talks about her role within manufacturing and how clothing brands exploit suppliers and workers.
Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights Masters Students Should Raise in Interviews with Potential Employers Within the Fashion Industry
Hear from the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights Masters students as they train for what kinds of questions students should raise as they’re interviewing to become the next Human Rights Manager.
National and International Initiatives to Advance the SDGs Decent Work Agenda
Hear from Charles Autheman who speaks to students who come to understand the adversity impact that businesses can have on human rights and labor rights.
The Rana Plaza Factory 10 Year Remembrance – A Conversation with Sofia Montañez at Centrum PUCP
Hear from Sofia Montañez as she leads a discussion surrounding the Rana Plaza disaster.
What Has the Rana Plaza Disaster Taught Us?
Institute for Human Rights and Business
In this episode of Voices, you will hear from IHRB’s Salil Tripathi and Sanchita Banerjee Saxena, IHRB’s Research Fellow and Director at the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley, who have together authored a new briefing: Rana Plaza ten years on: lessons for human rights and business.
More Work is Needed to Set International Frameworks and Standards
In this freewheeling conversation, Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor at the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and Sanchita Banerjee Saxena, IHRB Research Fellow and Director at the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, talk about the lessons for business and human rights.
10 Years Since Rana Plaza, Not Enough Has Changed
In the 10 years since its collapse, Rana Plaza has come to symbolise not only the lack of factory safety in fashion’s supply chains but a matrix of systemic issues — from garment worker vulnerability to the colonial power dynamics between brands and suppliers.
Rana Plaza 10 Years On: Lessons for Human Rights and Business
Sanchita Banerjee Saxena, Malini Chowdhury, Salil Tripathi, Scott Jerbi and Sam Simmons
Institute for Human Rights and Business
A Broken Partnership: How Clothing Brands Exploit Suppliers and Harm Workers- And What Can Be Done About It
Natasja Sheriff Wells and Chana Rosenthal
NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights
Objectives of the Exhibition
Commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster and pay tribute to the victims of BHR violations
Empower students interested in business and human rights to speak up about BHR issues
Share examples of ongoing challenges, promising solutions and legislative action on BHR issues
Inform the management education community and the broader public about the efforts of GBSN to advance business school education on BHR
“Rana Plaza is an emblematic case study for the role of human rights in business.
Discussing root causes and the systemic human rights risks that resulted in the Rana Plaza tragedy is highly relevant for students that are training to become future business executives.
On the tenth anniversary of Rana Plaza, we want to learn from this tragic case in conversation with business school students. We need to build their capacity to transform business models so that human rights are at the core of all business operations.”
– Dorothee Baumann-Pauly
How to Organize a “Conversation”
Conversations should be organized by one or several lecturers, ideally with the active participation of students. Several steps to a successful event:
- Identify a locally relevant business and human rights issue: challenges within a specific industry, business- or industry-wide solutions to address human rights risks, effectiveness or opportunity of legislation, etc.
- Invite a speaker to discuss this issue with students and lecturers. Prepare the conversation with students so they can take an active role in the event.
- Organize and record the conversation, bearing in mind that the recording will be featured on a global platform. The duration of the recording should not exceed one hour.
For any assistance, reach out to Charles Autheman – firstname.lastname@example.org.