The Savar Tragedy in Bangladesh: A Litmus Test for CSR?


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These CSR issues will be highlighted in Mohiuddin Babar 's presentation.

Mohiuddin Babar has authored a book titled Corporate Moral Responsibility and produced a number of video documentaries on CSR, occupational safety, and low carbon villages. He has been keynote speaker and participant at CSR seminars in several countries, as well as a judge for the Asian CSR Awards.

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The Savar Tragedy in Bangladesh: A Litmus Test for CSR?

  1. 1. www.bizcarebd.coThe Savar tragedy-- a litmus test for CSR
  2. 2. www.bizcarebd.cobyMohiuddin BabarCSR Consultant &CEO - BizCareBangladesh
  3. 3.
  4. 4.• On 24th April 2013, an eight story building collapsed atSavar, 20 km north of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.• The building housed four apparel factories.• About 5000 workers were employed in those factories.• 3200 workers were in the factories when it collapsed.• Most were females
  5. 5. www.bizcarebd.coThe root causes of the collapse• Faulty construction• Overloading• Non compliance with regulations• Incongruent attitude of the factory owners• Irresponsible behavior by global brands
  6. 6. www.bizcarebd.coIntensity of the tragedy• 1127 Dead bodies recovered• 2500 injured• 72 people lost limbs• Survivors traumatized• Scores of families lost income source• Sense of insecurity among other workers
  7. 7.
  8. 8. www.bizcarebd.coWorst industrial accident in south Asiaafter the Bhopal [India] Chemical factorycatastrophe in 1984.
  9. 9. www.bizcarebd.coIndustrial accidents are nothingnew in Bangladesh.
  10. 10. www.bizcarebd.coIndustrial accidents are nothingnew in Bangladesh.Fire………Pollution…….Electricution……Explosions ……
  11. 11. www.bizcarebd.coWhy is this dismal scenario ?
  12. 12.• Low labor cost -- inducing foreignbuyers to produce cheap clothes• Corruption -- disabling enforcementof regulations• Poor infrastructure – unable tosupport appropriate standards
  13. 13. www.bizcarebd.coCSR challenged !
  14. 14. www.bizcarebd.coUnfortunate reactions :• Withdrawal syndrome by buyers• Boycott of “Made in Bangladesh”products• Intransigence towards implementingimproved safety net
  15. 15. www.bizcarebd.coSuch reactions will jeopardize theefforts for alleviating poverty andensuring sustainable socio economicuplift -- the core motif of CSRin a country like Bangladesh
  16. 16.• Bangladesh earns about USD 19 billionannually by exporting readymade garments• 4500 apparel industries employ about4.6 million people• 3.6 million are women workers -- all comingfrom rural communities• Over 40 global brands source theirproducts in BangladeshThe hardcore facts :
  17. 17. www.bizcarebd.coWhere will they go ?Can CSR define theirsustainability !
  18. 18.• Strengthening holistic motif of CSR• Driving CSR in full gear• Embedding public-private partnership• Redeeming moral values for both –investors and consumersThe keys to way forward ::
  19. 19. www.bizcarebd.coAs the sweats, tears and bloodof the industrial workers keeprising in the developing countries,it will not be too long to testify if ourcurrent quest of CSR is actuallyachieving anything !Otherwise…….
  20. 20. Level 6, Plot 10, Road 2/2, Banani, Dhaka 1213, BangladeshTel: +880 1733666666 | Fax: +880 2 9862805 | Email: | Web: www.bizcarebd.coLinkedIn: | Facebook: | Twitter: you