Rana disaster: how far can we proceed with CSR?



Publication Details

A. Begum & S. M. Solaiman, 'Rana disaster: how far can we proceed with CSR?' (2016) 23 (4) Journal of Financial Crime 748-768.


Purpose - This paper aims to investigate corporate social responsibility (CSR) in corporate business and stimulate a debate on this to combat the modern day slavery in Garment Industries (GIS) in Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach - This research has drawn on media, non-governmental organisations and a series of national and international reports and on relevant materials from both primary and secondary legal resources.

Findings - The existing phenomena in Bangladesh surrounding Rana Plaza (RP) disaster stand in sharp contrast with CSR which inevitably offend the dignity and core values of human beings as deeply entrenched in a range of national and international instruments. RP disaster was a man-made catastrophe that could have been surely averted had the three actors (such as RP, the government and the foreign buyers being multinational corporations) performed their respective obligations in due course.

Research limitations/implications - CSR is still an intensely debated issue, especially in terms of its scope and limitation. This study has not delved into these issues.

Practical implications - There has been a dearth of intellectual inquiries (to the best of the authors' knowledge) about CSR in GIS in Bangladesh. It is submitted that this paper will contribute to filling the gap in the legal literature, especially in relation to the responsibilities of the three actors, and to contest another human catastrophe in the future.

Social implications - In particular, it is expected that the findings would play an important role in empowering relevant stakeholders including the impoverished workers who have been the most disadvantaged, and overlooked by the three actors.

Originality/value - This paper is the original work of the authors and has not been submitted elsewhere for publication.

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