The Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum have been urging Benetton to pay $5m into the Fund

The Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum have been urging Benetton to pay $5m into the Fund

Italian fashion giant Benetton is to make a contribution to the Bangladesh Rana Plaza Trust Fund that compensates victims of the disaster that occurred nearly two years ago.

The move by Benetton comes after nearly 1m people signed a petition calling on the company to pay into the Fund.

The Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum have been urging Benetton to pay $5m into the Fund, saying it is the only major international brand with confirmed links to Rana Plaza that has so far made no contribution.

Benetton said its decision to make a contribution is the “second phase” of its support activities for victims of the disaster, which resulted in around 1,100 deaths.

The company said an independent, globally-recognised third party is working to define the principles of its “fair and equitable share of compensation” to the fund. The amount will be made official once a conclusion has been reached, it said. This is expected in the next few weeks, and no later than 24 April.

Benetton said the move is part of a broader programme of further social engagement by the group for 2015, the details of which are to be announced in the coming days.

In the aftermath of Rana Plaza, the Italian retailer launched its own support programme in partnership with the Bangladesh-based global NGO BRAC to support 280 victims and family members.

IndustriALL Global Union’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina believes the magnitude of the on-going tragedy cannot be brushed aside.

"Children lost their mothers, families lost their incomes, and many of the survivors were so seriously injured physically and mentally that they can no longer work or feed their families. There are other brands too who should be paying more compensation but Benetton must take a lead – the door to discussions is always open. Benetton the responsibility lies squarely with you.”