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Rana Plaza three years on: the struggle for justice and safety is not over

On April 24th 2013 the deadliest tragedy in the history of garment industry happened in Dhaka. Three years later, all of the victims finally have received compensation. But despite public pressure, factories remain blatantly unsafe.

More than 1’100 people died when the eight-storey Rana Plaza building collapsed in Savar near Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, on April 24th 2013. Most of the victims were female garment workers. Where are we, three years on?

Over the past three years the Clean Clothes Campaign has fought side by side with the survivors and the families of those killed to demand and win compensation for their losses. We have also worked with our colleagues in the trade union movement to push for the signing of the Bangladesh Accord; a legally-binding agreement to ensure Bangladesh garment factories are inspected and made safe. Since then we have worked with all the signatories and staff of the Accord to ensure its implementation. Lastly, we have supported our trade union partners in Bangladesh, and their members, who face sometimes brutal retaliation and harassment simply for exercising their right to organise and negotiate for better work. 

Over 140'000 signatures for the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative

 — Less than a year after its launch, the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative has gathered the required number of signatures. This significant step paves the way for the initiative to be taken up by the Swiss government and shows that a large number of Swiss citizens want multinational corporations to respect human rights and the environment abroad.

In April 2015, 77 civil society organisations 

Restitution of Abacha funds: Swiss and Nigerian NGOs demand guarantees

 — Switzerland will soon return a sum of 321 million dollars to Nigeria, which was confiscated from the clan of the African nation's former dictator Sani Abacha. In an open letter, Swiss and Nigerian NGOs have demanded that the authorities of these two countries, together with the World Bank, take all measures necessary to guarantee that these funds be returned in a manner that is transparent and 

Switzerland’s financial secrecy brought under human rights spotlight

 — Tax avoidance and evasion represent a systemic drain on government revenues needed for the fulfilment of women’s rights and gender equality. As the international human rights system begins to grapple with the consequences of tax policy for human rights, a groundbreaking initiative is about to shine a bright light into the dark corners of financial secrecy. Switzerland – arguably the world’s most 

Bangladeshi factories remain unsafe: H&M suppliers fail on deadlines to address safety hazards

 — As Swedish fashion giant H&M prepares to announce a predicted increase in their profits for 2015, labour rights groups are calling on the company to do more to protect garment workers in Bangladesh, after a review of H&M’s strategic suppliers shows that severe delays in carrying out urgent and vital building repairs continue to leave tens of thousands of workers at risk of death and injury. 

European Patent Office revokes Monsanto patent on melons

 — The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a patent held by Monsanto on melons (EP1962578) for technical reasons. Monsanto was claiming melons with a natural resistance to plant viruses as its own 

New report: Patents on Plants and Animals

 — The new report of the NGO alliance No Patents On Seeds shows the latest developments on the patenting of plants. Around 2400 patents on plants and 1400 patents on animals have been granted in Europe 

Stevia-Derived Sweeteners Violate Indigenous Rights

 — A new report, published by a coalition of NGOs and scientific institutions (1), shows that the 

Switzerland Must Seize Opportunity for Commodity Trading Transparency

 — Switzerland, the world’s leading commodity trading hub, must pave the way for more transparency in natural resource payments. The Swiss government should alter its course and include commodity trading 

H&M Fails to Honor Commitment to Make Fire and Building Safety Repairs in Bangladesh

 — H&M is dramatically behind schedule in correcting the dangers faced by the Bangladeshi workers who produce its clothing, according to a report published today by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), 

Analysis of How UPOV and WIPO Affect Farmers Rights

 — “Farmers’ rights” is a core component of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (hereafter referred to as “the Treaty”), and as such its
full implementation is a