ECCJ in Euronews: EU law to end deathtrap factories can’t be just a box-ticking exercise
April 24th, 2021
by Claudia Saller, Jasmine O'Connor and Ineke Zeldenrust

Women could see large cracks in the walls. They knew that returning to their sewing machines meant risking their lives, but factory owners were threatening to withhold their meagre salary that barely puts food on the table.

On April 24, 2013, the eight-story Rana Plaza building on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed within 90 seconds, killing 1,134 people and imprinting the tragedy in our collective memory.

Worse still, many global brands tried to wash their hands of the situation. Activists had to dig through the rubble to find the labels of 29 Western fashion brands sourcing from these deathtrap factories.

This was the worst ever industrial incident to hit the garment industry — but it’s far from uncommon.

Just last month, a tragic factory flood and fire took the lives of garment workers in Morocco and Egypt.

Eight years on, the truth is that many European fashion companies are still linked to human rights abuses on a daily basis.