3rd Anniversary of the Rana Plaza Disaster
April 24 marked the 3rd anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh. This completely preventable disaster claimed the lives of 1,134 garment workers and left thousands injured. While some long-delayed compensation to workers and their families was finally distributed from US and European brands producing clothing in Bangladesh, the most necessary compensation has not been forthcoming: a change in the way the global garment companies contract to make the clothing we all wear.
Health and safety and working conditions in the global garment industry continue to be deplorable. The international clothing companies, led by US brands such as Walmart and Gap, and European companies such as Inditex and H&M, continue to seek the lowest wages and least regulated environments in order to keep costs down and profits up. In Bangladesh, many of the contracted garment factories do not pay the minimum wage, which itself is not enough to live on.
The Rana Plaza disaster did lead to some changes in Bangladesh. The labor code was updated to better allow for union registration and the formation of safety committees; however, the unionization rules have been met with employer sabotage and the emergence of blacklists. The safety committees have yet to be organized. Two institutions were formed with brand participation, the Accord and the Alliance, which have mostly carried out building inspections of the garment factories, but both efforts were designed as 5-year programs, scheduled to disappear in 2 more years, at which point all agree little real change will have occurred. Unfortunately, the sacrifices made by the workers of Rana Plaza seem to have been made in vain.
Hesperian partner in Nepal featured on Global Motherhood blog
December 19, 2014
Even your creased, well-thumbed copy of Where There is No Doctor is no substitute for receiving attention from a compassionate and well-trained health care provider. In a recent piece on the Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood Blog , anthropologist Elisabeth Enslin describes how she used Where There Is No Doctor to advise her neighbors, who were reluctant to go to clinics after “they'd had their concerns dismissed, been sold expensive medicines or exams with dubious benefits, been chastised, misdiagnosed, misunderstood, inconvenienced, lost work time waiting for all-too-brief exams, been looked down on for their skin color, ethnic status, poverty, and/or gender.” Although she found that Where There is No Doctor provided “practical and thoughtful” solutions to many problems, she longed to be able to refer her Nepali advice-seekers to health services that would treat them with the respect and care they deserved. Read More
Help 8 Hesperian translations that are ready to go to print!
All Hesperian books are published in English and Spanish, but all of our titles are available in multiple additional languages - over 80 so far!
How do these books get translated? Read More
Hesperian works with amazing grassroots partners around the world, supporting them as they translate our books. Right now, Hesperian is helping 8 translation partners, located in Afghanistan, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Pakistan, to realize their vision of translating and distributing Hesperian books into Dari, Georgian, Tamil, Bahasa, Bunyore, Mongolian, Cebuano, and Urdu. These are only the projects that are close to completion—you can see more on Hesperian’s website.