Stockholm, Sweden, 2014-4-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (13 APR 2014 ) the H&M Conscious Foundation has decided to make a donation to the victims and the families affected by the tragic Rana Plaza collapse almost one year ago. H&M has never had any production in any of the factories situated in Rana Plaza, so the Foundation bases the decision for donation on humanitarian reason. The donation will go exclusively to support the victims and the families through the fund set up and managed by the UN body the International Labor Organization and will be 100,000 USD.
The mission of the Foundation is to contribute to positive long-term change for people and communities. The foundation is in certain cases providing disaster relief in the event of natural disasters and humanitarian assistance, especially supporting countries where H&M operates. The H&M Conscious Foundation have for instance earlier supported victims of the Haiyan typhoon in the Philippines, and flood victims in India.
H&M will also continue its work with fire and building safety issues, as these questions are very important to us. We have worked pro-actively with our suppliers for many years and H&M was also the first company to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety in May 2013. As many as 158 brands in the textile industry have now signed the Accord to work together with the ILO, global unions IndustriALL and UNI Global and Bangladesh trade unions for a more safe industry.
Since Bangladesh is yet to ratify ILO convention 121, there are currently no clear governmental directives present and no legal framework regarding compensation to workers. We welcome ILO’s initiative with the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund as a temporary solution. However, H&M believes that a long-term compensation structure needs to be developed for the whole industry in Bangladesh based on ILO convention 121. We are now initiating work with our business partners and other stakeholders in the industry to create a new insurance mechanism that will guarantee adequate protection for all workers and employers in a situation where compensation is needed. The vision is that this system will be built in and integrated on industry level and thereby is applicable to everyone, regardless of which buyer or other international interests are present at any given time. Only in that way, can the industry properly protect the workers in a long-term sustainable way.
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