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Bangladesh garment factory collapse survivors need more help: HRW

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Bangladeshi garment factory workers who survived the collapse of the Rana Plaza building near Dhaka are in urgent need of more help, according to a human rights organisation.

As the first anniversary of the tragedy approaches, Human Rights Watch has said that survivors are still suffering from life-changing injuries, psychological trauma, and a loss of income.

As AFP reports, a fund has been set up to compensate survivors and families of the dead. About 3,000 of these people have now received the first payments of 50,000 taka ($US640) each as an advance against their claims.

International companies that sourced garments from five factories operating in the Rana Plaza building have so far pledged $15 million to the proposed $40 million ILO-managed trust fund. However, according to Human Rights Watch, this is not enough.

“One year after Rana Plaza collapsed, far too many victims and their families are at serious risk of destitution,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “International garment brands should be helping the injured and the dependents of dead workers who manufactured their clothes.”

According to the fund’s webite, out of the $15 million that the retailers have so far contributed, $8 million has come from one company, Primark. And 15 brands whose products were found in the rubble of the collapsed building have paid nothing.

Human Rights Watch has written to the companies that have not paid into the fund, asking them to explain why not.

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