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February 11, 2020

Bangladesh after Rana Plaza

Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia

Sanchita Saxena seated in front of a bookcase

The 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza, a large commercial building, was the deadliest garment factory accident in history. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Western companies invested in organizations to inspect and monitory Bangladesh’s factories. In Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza (2020), editor and contributor Dr. Sanchita Saxena critiques the strategies employed to police the garment industry and proposes solutions to improve the sector.

Saxena argues that the emphasis on monitoring and compliance has neglected larger issues with the global supply chain, including the extreme pressures suppliers face to quickly produce large quantities of goods at the lowest possible price. In order to prevent tragedies like Rana Plaza from occurring in the future, flaws in the global supply chain must be addressed to reduce the incentives for factory owners to take deadly risks in order to meet the demands of their clients.

This event is co-sponsored by the Georgetown University India Initiative and the South Asian Policy & Research Initiative.

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Sanchita Banerjee Saxena is the director of the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies and the executive director of the Institute for South Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the editor of Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza (2020) and author of Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garments and Textiles Industries (2014). Saxena has been a practitioner resident at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy and a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the UCLA.