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We recently posted a blog “How many lives is your T-shirt worth” that was inspired by a piece we had read in the Global and Mail. From that sparked more discussion and thought into lessons learned from tragedies such as the Rana Plaza building collapse. An interesting angle that came from this discussion was the role and  #wresponsibility that local governments should have over the working conditions of their factories. Many brands often contract with local manufacturers in developing countries and these contracts often stipulate that the factories must comply with local laws. Laws that are often drafted from corrupt governments who struggle to actual enforce the policies. In short, local safety certification can often mean very little.

The bigger picture here is the need for better infrastructure and support in such communities. Governments need to be encouraged to improve their policies and enforcement around such laws. Sadly, tragedies like this one are one way to bring about such movement. Around 1,129 people died in the collapse of the garment factory, a collapse that could have been prevented had governments and companies focused on the people as much as they focused on profit.